Does a $185 Trillion Carbon Ask Explain the Resistance to Strong Climate Policies?

Carbon Ask Picture
September 30, 2016

ENRP Director Peter Linquiti and ENRP student Nathan Cogswell recently quantified the Carbon Ask at $185 trillion in a study published in May 2016.  What is the Carbon Ask?  It’s the reduction in the value of the global fossil fuel enterprise that will result from a climate policy intended to hold global warming to under two degrees.  The stunningly large size of the Carbon Ask goes a long way toward explaining the political dynamics of climate policy.  Linquiti & Cogswell’s study also notes that the Carbon Ask will be experienced not only by large multinational firms, but also by smaller firms, workers, communities, and governments around the world.  The authors caution against interpreting their results as an argument against climate policy and instead make the case for a well-informed debate in which the stakes for all parties are made clear.   Thanks to the generosity of GW’s Columbian College, the article has been published open access.  Click here for the article itself and here for an FAQs document that gives a quick overview of the study.