Climate change is a conservative issue

Conservatively speaking, we are not doing enough to address climate change.

The White House estimates that $386 billion in incentives for low-carbon technologies in the United States Inflation Reduction Act It would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions about 40 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. Conservatives, like myself, believed that U.S. emissions were already trending downward, maybe 24-32 percent without the inflation cap, which means we We will borrow and spend $386 billion to reduce US emissions by 8-16 percent. (I’m also painfully aware that Republican policymakers have been on the sidelines during these policy negotiations.)

Globally, climate change will only get worse. All economies, regardless of their climate policies, will continue to emit greenhouse gases, and thus, the global average temperature will continue to increase.

World leaders and environmentalists alike were in Sharm el-Sheikh bemoaning this fact during United Nations Climate Change Conference. Much like the previous conferences, they too promoted progress though the recent UN conference evaluation States’ commitments to combating climate change are failing. Sadly, as we begin to suffer the adverse effects of climate change, the worst consequences will weigh on future generations.

Therefore, we cannot let cheers for additional efforts, such as the inflation-reduction law, drown out persistent warnings from scientists that seas are still rising.

Skilled conservatism calls for preparing for the future. Currently, our future is an increase in the average global temperature by 6.4 degrees Fahrenheit and a rise in sea level by 30 inches by the year 2100. Some might argue that these are just estimates, but that is no excuse for ignoring them. For a true conservative, these estimates are the basis that should guide our preparation – we might even want to plan for a slightly worse scenario, just in case.

Of course, we can change the baseline by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (After all, conservatives aren’t fatalistic.) But this will require more effective policies than the $386 billion in subsidies. The effort must be global, not isolated. Instead, we should guide Margaret Thatcher, who appealed to countries to address climate change and for “global agreements on ways to deal with the effects of climate change.” She most likely agrees that the subsidies are voluntary and in accordance with the obligations Paris agreement Not enough, we need conservative solutions such as a carbon price and binding global commitments.

We must also take into account that coastlines, people (sometimes in the millions), and markets will move. For many decades, conservatism has been based on preserving the status quo: resistance to government action, resistance to rising flood insurance rates to protect policyholders from changing and growing costs, and, more recently, withdrawal of funds from institutions that consider climate change while making investment decisions. .

Climate change policies have catalysed such a backward approach. But it’s time to look forward, especially now that Republicans have done so He regained a leadership role in Congress. Certainly, it was not the so-called “red wave” that pollsters had predicted in the midterm elections. But Conservatives have an opportunity – a real commitment to future generations – to support climate policies that meaningfully address this issue. These policies should reduce emissions, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and global temperature.

Despite the variable and hidden costs of the inflationary law, the actual costs will inevitably incur. Conservatives should focus on lowering these costs, designing climate policies that prepare for the physical impact of climate change, pursue strong global agreements to cut emissions, build economics by putting a price on carbon, and reduce unnecessary subsidies.

Today, policymakers in both parties may consider these policies politically impossible. But it is likely that scientists and economists consider them responsible – even conservative.

Alex Flint is the CEO of Inc Alliance for Market Solutions and former director general of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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