(3BL Media/Justmeans) -Â While there can be no question that the agreement reached in Paris was historic, and by most measures successful, there were those that felt that without having implemented a global carbon tax, it fell short of the mark. These folks, whose numbers includeÂ Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Greenpeaceâs Kumi Naidoo,Â did not waste any time to seize the moment to come out with a fresh call for a âcarbon levy.â
The group, a loose,unnamed confederation of some 60 global climate action leaders, issued a statement that said, "The industry that is most responsible for climate change is the fossil fuel industry - responsible for roughly 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. The fossil fuel industry is responsible not only for the majority of carbon emissions but also for the delay in dealing with the problem. They have known about climate change for decades, yet have funded climate denialists and have subverted political processes aimed at fighting the problem. International law - and basic fairness - say that the fossil fuel industry should pay for the loss and damage that their product is causing."
The group has pledged to introduce a levy that would raise money from fossil fuel extraction and use those funds to compensate âthe people facing the worst impacts of climate change.â The Paris agreement included language on loss and damage, but did not establish direct liability.
James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who was among the first to sound the alarm on climate change back in 1988, also had disparaging words about the agreement, calling it, âjust worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.â
Itâs true that the plummeting price of oil is not helping matters any, even as the cost of solar and other renewables continue to drop. Still, growth in renewables continues to be strong and with the extension of investment tax credits in the latest budget, that growth should continue.
While the UN process focused on distinctions between developed and developing countries, arguing that developed countries had benefited most from the fossil fuels, the result of which was now threatening the planet, this group is focused more on the industry, which they consider responsible.
While many including myself, Â have argued for some form of carbon tax as the most effective way to expedite the transition away from fossil fuels; the language in this statement contains a more punitive tone, choosing the stick rather than the carrot.