Authors
Kian Mintz-Woo
University College, Cork
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis ought to serve as a reminder about the costs of failure to consider another long-term risk, climate change. For this reason, it is imperative to consider the merits of policies that may help to limit climate damages. This essay rebuts three common objections to carbon taxes: (1) that they do not change behaviour, (2) that they generate unfair burdens and increase inequality, and (3) that fundamental, systemic change is needed instead of carbon taxes. The responses are (1) that there is both theoretical and empirical reason to think that carbon taxes do change behaviour, with larger taxes changing it to a greater extent; (2) that undistributed carbon taxes are regressive but distributing the tax receipts can alleviate that regressivity (and, in many cases, make the overall effect progressive); and (3) that while small changes for increasing democratic decision-making may be helpful, (fundamental) change takes time and the climate crisis requires urgent action. [Open access] //// La crise de lamaladie à coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) devrait servir de rappel sur les coûts de la non-prise en compte d’un autre risque à long terme, les changements climatiques. Pour cette raison, il est impératif de considérer lesmérites des politiques susceptibles de contribuer à limiter les changements climatiques. Cet essai réfute trois objections courantes aux taxes sur le carbone : (1) qu’elles ne changent pas les comportements (2) qu’elles génèrent des charges injustes et augmentent les inégalités, et (3) qu’un changement fondamental et systémique est nécessaire au lieu de taxes sur le carbone. Les réponses sont (1) qu’il existe des raisons à la fois théoriques et empiriques de penser que les taxes sur le carbone modifient effectivement les comportements, et que des taxes plus élevées les modifient dans une plus grande mesure; (2) que les taxes sur le carbone non distribuées sont régressives,mais que la distribution des recettes fiscales peut atténuer cette régressivité (et, dans de nombreux cas, rendre l’effet global progressif); et (3) que, bien que de petits changements pour l’amélioration de la prise de décision démocratique peuvent être utiles, un changement (fondamental) prend du temps et la crise climatique exige une action urgente.
Keywords climate change  climate ethics  carbon taxes  climate policy  environmental ethics  COVID-19
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References found in this work BETA

The Unfair Burdens Argument Against Carbon Pricing.Lukas Tank - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):612-627.
Will Carbon Taxes Help Address Climate Change?Kian Mintz-Woo - 2021 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 16 (1):57-67.
Cashing in on Climate Change: Political Theory and Global Emissions Trading.Edward A. Page - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (2):259-279.
Cashing in on Climate Change: Political Theory and Global Emissions Trading.Edward A. Page - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (2):259-279.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Do Climate Change Winners Owe, and to Whom?Kian Mintz-Woo & Justin Leroux - 2021 - Economics and Philosophy 37 (3):462-483.
Carbon Pricing Ethics.Kian Mintz-Woo - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass:e12803.

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Treading Lightly on the Climate in a Problem-Ridden World.Dan C. Shahar - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):183-195.
Climate Change: Against Despair. McKinnon - 2014 - Ethics and the Environment 19 (1):31.
Climate Change and Justice.Jeremy Moss (ed.) - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
What Do Climate Change Winners Owe, and to Whom?Kian Mintz-Woo & Justin Leroux - 2021 - Economics and Philosophy 37 (3):462-483.

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