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Are Market Mechanisms Moral?

Subtitle: 

Morality Matters at the Climate Conference

Subtitle: 

Climate Policy Requires Markets — and Equity

Subtitle: 

Markets Alone Can't Produce Social Justice

Subtitle: 

Markets Are Mostly Moral — But It Depends

Subtitle: 

Markets Can Be Socially Responsible

Subtitle: 

Tapping Our Better Nature to Solve Global Woes

Author: 

Leslie Carothers - Environmental Law Institute, Joel Darmstadter - Resources for the Future, Caroline Farrell - Center on Race, Poverty, and The Environment, Stephen F. Harper - Intel Corporation, Bob Perciasepe - Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Lucia A. Silecchia - Catholic University of America

Column: 

The Debate

Column: 

Climate Policy Requires Markets — and Equity

Column: 

Markets Alone Can't Produce Social Justice

Column: 

Markets Are Mostly Moral — But It Depends

Column: 

Markets Can Be Socially Responsible

Column: 

Tapping Our Better Nature to Solve Global Woes

Current Issue: 

Issue: 

2

While using all available tools may seem wise when faced with the formidable challenges presented by climate change, there are moral authorities — including Pope Francis — who have cautioned against blind acceptance of one popular approach, market-based mechanisms. As the environmental law and policy field absorbs the Paris Agreement and begins to focus on methods of achieving the goals consented to, it will be important for thought leaders to step back and examine the tools at their disposal from the perspective of the global community, particularly the poor and marginalized, as well as weigh other market-based programs to reduce pollutants like mercury or sulfur dioxide. Can a market overcome the moral failure of the tragedy of the commons? Can it be constructed to incentivize social equity and avoid pollution hot spots?

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Are Market Mechanisms Moral?

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