- Researchers at UC Berkeley studying environmentally-friendly policies say incentives work better than carbon taxes when it comes to getting industry on board.
- In a new paper published by Science, researchers look at the "green spiral," where a policy designed to address an acute need grows into a new industry focus or way of doing business.
Policies encouraging a change, rather than those which tax an older model, will create smoother and quicker transition to a clean energy economy, according to researchers at UC Berkeley. For green policies, incentivizing companies to reduce carbon emissions may work better than taxing, according to an article published this month in Science, titled “Winning Coalitions for Climate Policy: Green Industrial Policy Builds Support for Carbon Regulation."
"Policymakers need to build political support for emission cuts by pushing clean-energy industries rather than first penalizing polluters," Jonas Meckling, the lead author of a study published, told ClimateWire
Explaining the study on the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy web site, researchers said the core concept behind the work is "that successful policymaking in environmental policy often depends on a process of policy-industry feedback to create winning coalitions for further policy."
Dubbed the "green spiral," they describe a process where policies designed to address an acute problem like air pollution or energy dependence can catalyze greater responses.
"The presence or absence of green spirals in local and international dynamics often makes the difference between success stories (like the ozone negotiations, or local cases such as California or Denmark) and failures, in which regulatory momentum fails to build over time (like the international climate negotiations to date, or US attempts to create broad federal carbon emissions legislation)," they said.