April 10, 2019

The New York Times–Letter: Behind carbon pricing

The deputy campaigns director for Corporate Accountability writes about the double game played by big polluters and their lobbyists.

To the Editor:

Re “These Countries Have Prices on Carbon. Are They Working?” (Climate,, April 2):

You are right to point out that despite the hubbub from economists and policymakers worldwide, carbon pricing schemes have almost universally failed to result in adequate emissions cuts. These schemes are being pushed by big polluters and the governments in their pockets not because they think that they will work but because they know that they will fail, and that’s good for business.

While many of the world’s biggest polluters have long claimed to support climate action and carbon pricing, their trade associations have lobbied to undermine those policies. In the European Union, for example, Shell and others have expressed support for the region’s emissions trading scheme, yet their trade associations have actively weakened it. A result? Bad policy was made worse, and the E.U. failed to cut emissions.

Given the fossil fuel industry’s long track record of climate denial and obstruction (and the profits it has on the line), we must ask ourselves, if big polluters support it, can it really be good for the climate?

Sriram Madhusoodanan
The writer is deputy campaigns director for Corporate Accountability.

This letter first appeared in The New York Times.

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