Wenonah Hauter: Carbon Tax Schemes Will Not Save Us from Climate Chaos

Washington, D.C. Oct. 9, 2018 – Today, ExxonMobil announced a $1 million donation to an effort backing carbon taxes. The announcement follows a devastating IPCC report revealing society has a mere 12 years to start rapidly phasing out fossil fuels to limit the worst of the climate chaos ahead.  In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter released the following statement:

The alarming findings of the latest IPCC report validate an aggressive approach to deepening climate chaos that scientists, advocates and elected officials across the country are steadily endorsing: a rapid transition off fossil fuels that would make our society almost entirely reliant on clean, renewable energy in the next ten years.

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It comes as no surprise that ExxonMobil and other oil companies are calling for anything and everything short of moving off fossil fuels entirely—most notably, the unwieldy and unproven concept of carbon taxes. The IPCC report acknowledges that carbon taxes would have to be incredibly high to make even a dent in the crisis. Market-based carbon pricing schemes are a false solution to climate change, and a dangerous distraction from the urgent transition to a truly clean, renewable energy future we must undertake now.

While individual actions are laudable, no amount of lifestyle changes are enough to solve this planetary crisis without strong policies that will transform our society. This not only means how we provide energy, but also, how we provide food. We must tackle industrial animal agriculture, a huge piece of the puzzle, by implementing policies that promote sustainable livestock operations, not factory farms.

As Hurricane Michael bears down on Florida this week, we can’t forget that climate chaos doesn’t just unfold in number-filled charts in a report—it has real world consequences and costs lives. The IPCC report reinforces what we already know: we have to move Off Fossil Fuels if we want to solve climate chaos. Congress must pass the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, the most ambitious climate legislation ever introduced, which provides a just and equitable roadmap for how to proceed.

www.foodandwaterwatch.org