The New York Times Magazine has a good article on the difficulty of imposing what most economists see as the best way to fix emissions and climate disruption: Putting a price on them. They go back and forth between the economic arguments on why this is a win and the political impediments for doing so. The latter range from these being regressive taxes, in effect, to simply forcing change in a culture which has been weaned on cheap fossil fuels and all the related life comforts and technologies which depend upon them.
This has moved governments to subsidize fossil fuels, let alone put a price on them or the emissions which result in using them.
But the entire discussion misses a key point, in my opinion. There is a price on the burning of fossil fuels for whatever purpose. It is imposed by the increasingly common weather anomalies and other atmospheric and oceanic disruptions people experience due to anomalous and changing climate. It is measured in outright losses, insured or not, loss in economic productivity, and loss of confidence in governments doing something about it, or even being able to do something about it.
At the very least, insurance premiums will go up steeply. But there’ll also be increased costs for food, long having been forecast by people looking at the implications of climate disruption, as well as indirect costs because producers now have much more expensive and risky supply chains.
The only question is predictability: Do you all want an economy which builds in a cost of emissions which is scheduled, or do you want to bear costs of emissions which are selective in their impacts, unpredictable in timing, and unfair by socioeconomic status?
It’s not like Carbon pricing is some great act of charity. It is an accounting device.
Either way, people, communities, towns, cities, regions, and countries will suffer when they do not embrace the reality of climate change in the full and its impacts, or when they do not embrace the zero Carbon energy transition.