Around the world, cities are taking the lead on addressing the challenge of climate change. While senior governments stall, urban leaders are responding to the urgent need to make our cities more resilient as climate change impacts intensify.
We often hear claims that a carbon tax would destroy jobs and growth. Yet the evidence from a Canadian province that actually passed such a tax – British Columbia – tells a very different story.
The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report firmly centered on the reality of human-driven climate change. If we don’t take immediate and tangible steps to reduce the consequences of these actions, we will face an environmental crisis that will have a major impact on mankind’s existence. Here in Tokyo, we are extremely concerned about this danger, as it poses a huge threat to our goal of becoming a sustainable and environmentally-friendly city.
The British economist Lord Nicholas Stern has labelled climate change “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen.” Failing to put a price on carbon emissions leaves the market with no way to address the harm created by these emissions. And with no cost attached to a harmful activity, participants in the market have no incentive to pursue less harmful alternatives. Thankfully, this is changing.