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The Carbon Tax and China

May 25, 2012; 8:17 PM ET

China's participation in a global climate treaty combined with a global carbon price of $50 per metric ton are necessary to avert catastrophic climate change, according to new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

How much is a metric ton? About 2,200 pounds.

The International Panel on Climate Change says that if the global temperature rises above 2 degrees Celsius it may result in catastrophic climate change, leading to relentless heatwaves, dangerous sea level rise and more extreme floods and droughts, according to the Bloomberg News article.

The study found that if there is no international policy, temperatures will probably rise by 5.5 Celsius. The $50 dollar figure will likely be needed to keep the rise below 2 Celsius.

In addition to the carbon tax, little if anything will be accomplished without the participation of China, which is the world's biggest user of energy.

Key statements from the actual MIT news release.......

"As the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, without China, climate goals - like the 2 degrees Celsius target that most agree is necessary to prevent serious irreversible consequences - are out of reach," says Sergey Paltsev, the lead author of the study and the assistant director for economic research at MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

The researchers stress, however, that reaching that 2 degrees threshold with China's participation is only possible in the most optimistic case. And these days, there isn't much cause for optimism.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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