Lecture, panel discussion to address carbon taxes and climate change

How can taxes on carbon emissions be an effective tool to fight climate change? A guest speaker and a panel of experts will examine the question Tuesday at Indiana University.

Ian W.H. Parry

Ian W.H. Parry

Ian W.H. Parry, principal environmental fiscal policy expert with the International Monetary Fund, will be the keynote speaker for the event, which will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union and is sponsored by IU’s Integrated Program in the Environment.

Sarah Mincey, associated director of the Integrated Program in the Environment, said the idea for the event grew out of a March 2015 discussion that featured Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes, who was visiting IU Bloomington as a Patten lecturer.

“Panelists and audience members spent a considerable amount of time discussing a carbon tax and it was clear that we needed to follow up on that topic,” Mincey said.

She noted that a broad coalition has been calling for a global carbon tax to reduce fossil-fuel pollution and slow climate change in the wake of climate agreements reached in December 2015 at a United Nations conference known as COP21. Questions remain about how such taxes affect the economy.

“Several dozen countries have implemented some form of carbon pricing and the U.S. is facing this issue, so our community needs to be informed about the costs and the benefits,” she said. “There could be no stronger panel of experts on this topic to address these questions.”

Kenneth Richards, professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, will moderate the panel discussion, and panelists will include:

  • Antung Anthony Liu, assistant professor in SPEA, whose research areas include climate change policy and the environment in developing countries
  • Joseph Robertson, global strategy director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the author of “Building a Green Economy: On the Economics of Carbon Pricing and the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels
  • Gerhard Glomm, professor and chair of economics in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, whose research includes economic growth and political economy.

Parry, the keynote speaker, joined the IMF in 2010 after working at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan research organization. His research focuses on analytical models to measure the impacts and efficiency of environmental, energy and transportation policies. He is co-editor of the forthcoming “Implementing a US Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates” and of “Fiscal Policy to Mitigate Climate Change: A Guide for Policymakers” and the author of over 50 journal articles and other publications.

The lecture and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

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