Wall of paintings outside the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal, Canada, November 30, 2005.
Wall of paintings outside the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal, Canada, November 30, 2005.
Christinne Muschi / Reuters

In his critique of the recent Kyoto accord, Richard N. Cooper notes that mitigating climate change will not be easy ("Toward a Real Global Warming Treaty," March/April 1998). He argues that allocating greenhouse gas emissions rights among nations, especially in the developing world, is impractical. Since economists' favorite solution to problems such as emissions is to tax the offending activity, he concludes that a more practical solution would be to have all countries agree on a common carbon emissions tax.

Cooper is right about one thing -- fighting global warming will not be easy. Setting differentiated emissions targets among countries

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