It’s good to hear that the nation’s mayors are working on lowering local emissions (“Mayors detail climate change actions,” April 22).
However, changing to energy-efficient lighting is not enough to fight climate change. Mayor Ralph Becker is correct, this is just “low-hanging fruit.” It is essential that we motivate people and industry to cut emissions beyond the low-hanging fruit because, as the New York Times reports, "Despite investments in energy efficiency and cleaner energy sources in the United States, in Europe and in developing countries like China, annual emissions of greenhouse gases have risen almost twice as fast in the first decade of this century as they did in the last decades of the 20th century.”
In spite of mayoral efforts and EPA efforts, emissions have been rising, not falling. What will do a better job of cutting emissions? A carbon tax. If Congress taxes fossil fuel companies for the emissions their products cause, energy prices will increase and emissions will drop.
What about consumers? Congress must rebate the tax to households to shield individuals from rising prices. Meanwhile, investors will stop investing in fossil fuels because they will be less profitable.
Readers should urge their U.S. senators and representatives to support a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies and a carbon rebate to households. We are running out of time.