Policy Documents

Climate Change: How the U.S. Should Lead

Nicolas Loris, Brett D. Schaefer –
January 25, 2013

Restricting greenhouse gas emissions, whether unilaterally or multilaterally, would result in significant economic costs for the U.S. economy. This is a serious decision with grave consequences. The U.S. should not unilaterally assume these burdens as a symbolic gesture hoping that other countries might emulate our example—repeated U.N. negotiations demonstrate the small likelihood of that outcome. The U.S. should act prudently by increasing its certainty about the underlying assumptions and resulting predictions of climate change, ensuring that the benefits justify the costs, and undertaking concrete commitments and actions only in the context of an overarching strategy that would actually have an impact on climate change if action is necessary.