Taxing carbon to help the poor

by Chris Bertram on December 12, 2004

Further to “my post”: on Lomborg below, here’s an idea. Maybe it isn’t new, but I’d still be grateful for critical comment. Lomborg says that it would be better to direct our resources to helping the world’s poor, rather than trying to implement Kyoto. Well, one thing first-world governments could do would be to introduce taxes on carbon emissions (many already have these) and to hypothecate those taxes (or some fixed proportion of them) to foreign-development aid.[1]

fn1. I take it that those who think that foreign aid is always a waste of money or counterproductive would not, themselves, put the Lomborg argument in good faith (whatever their opinions on CO2 and global warming). No need for them to comment below then.

Amartya Sen interviewed

by Chris Bertram on December 12, 2004

Asia Source has “an interview with Amartya Sen”: , which touches on the record of the World Bank and IMF, the evolution of Sen’s ideas on “capabilities”, democracy, the postwar histories of India and China, anticolonialism, and much else. (Found via “INBB”: , which looks like a really interesting blog.)

Global warming and foreign aid

by Chris Bertram on December 12, 2004

Bjorn Lomborg has “a column in today’s Sunday Telegraph”: arguing that it would be much better to spend money on helping the world’s poor than on Kyoto-style measures to cut carbon emissions. It is an interesting way of putting things, especially since, as he points out, the world’s poor are likely to be the principal victims of climate change. Thank goodness, then, that those governments most sceptical about Kyoto are also “among the most generous with their foreign-aid budgets”: (scroll down for table). And shame on those Kyoto-enthusiasts who are, comparatively, so mean with their foreign-aid contributions (and who also tie what little aid they do give to compliance with their foreign-policy objectives).