Monday, February 20, 2006

Stiglitz: US the elephant in the room on global warming

Nobel prize winner and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, believes that the way to get the US to start acting responsibly on global warming is to get the WTO to sanction them for breach of international trade rules. It's a clever argument - that the US government's refusal to actively engage in reducing carbon emissions constitutes a de facto subsidy to US industry. Such subsidies are illegal under the WTO's trade rules. It's a great pity it is unlikely to happen, not that the current simplistic focus on carbon emissions is sufficient to tackle the complex systemic problem of environmental degradation, but it would be a start.

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