A global carbon price would be a cheap form of insurance

There is little reason to worry that a global carbon price will be too high, according to the SNS Economic Policy Council 2020. The nine members of the Council strongly emphasize the need for Swedish climate policy to have a global focus. They point out that green subsidies are not sufficient and argue for the introduction of a global minimum price on carbon emissions and the abolition of fossil subsidies. They also recommend the introduction of a carbon border adjustment mechanism, as well as governmental support for developing new technologies, such as methods to capture and store biogenically produced carbon dioxide (CCS technology).

The SNS Economic Policy Council Report 2020: Swedish Policy for Global Climate has been very well received and frequently discussed and cited in the Swedish public debate since its release in January this year.

“To understand the challenges and risks arising from climate change as well as what to do about it, one needs insights from many scientific fields, including the natural sciences and the social sciences. Our aim has been to produce a report that is accessible for policy makers, business leaders, and students at advanced levels, both in Sweden and internationally”, says Mia Horn af Rantzien, CEO of SNS.

The members of the Council have a broad background in economics, law, natural sciences, and engineering. John Hassler, who has chaired the Council, is Professor of Economics at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University and serves as a member of the Committee for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Some of the key suggestions and recommendations presented by the Council include:

> Introduce a global minimum price on carbon dioxide emissions and abolish fossil subsidies.
> Let coal remain in the ground.
> Do not rely on green subsidies being sufficient for reducing emissions.
> Reduction of global emissions should be the overarching objective of Swedish climate policy.
> Contribute financially to developing countries’ transition.
> Promote climate clubs.
> Export fossil-free electricity.
> Introduce government funding of capture and storage of carbon dioxide technology (CCS technology).

“It’s too bad that the most effective way to handle climate change, i.e. a global deal on a minimum price on carbon emissions, is not on the table in international negotiations. But it’s not too late for that”, says John Hassler, Chair of SNS Economic Policy Council 2020.

Download the report SNS Economic Policy Council Report 2020: Swedish Policy for Global Climate.

SNS Economic Policy Council 2020

John Hassler (Chair), Professor of Economics, Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES), Stockholm University
Björn Carlén, Ph.D. in Economics, Researcher at the Environmental Economics Unit at the National Institute of Economic Research
Jonas Eliasson, Accessibility Director at the Swedish Transport Administration and Visiting Professor in Transport Systems, Linköping University
Filip Johnsson, Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems, Chalmers University of Technology
Per Krusell, Professor of Economics, Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES), Stockholm University
Therese Lindahl, Ph.D. in Economics, Researcher at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics
Jonas Nycander, Professor of Physical Oceanography, Stockholm University
Åsa Romson, Doctor of Legal Science (environmental science), Researcher at the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and former Minister for the Environment
Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Gothenburg

What is the SNS Economic Policy Council?

Since 1974, SNS annually appoints a group of academic researchers that, going under the name of the SNS Economic Policy Council, analyzes how various key aspects of the economy function over time. Based on its conclusions, the Council makes recommendations to politicians and, occasionally, to other decision-makers.

Previous Councils have put the spotlight on, for example, debt and financial stability, government spending on transport infrastructure, and the financing of the welfare state.

SNS’s purpose is to ensure that the public debate is based on high-quality scientific research; the Economic Policy Council reports usually attract a good deal of attention in the media. The authors alone are responsible for the analysis, conclusions, and proposals in their report, on which SNS as an organization adopts a neutral stance.

Read more about the SNS Economic Policy Council.

Read more about SNS research.