U.S. Global Climate Leadership Initiative What's New

What's New

In this testimony delivered to the House Ways and Means Committee RFF Senior Fellow Dallas Burtraw outlines the role a symmetric safety valve could play in curbing dramatic fluctuations in carbon price under a cap-and-trade system.

Burtraw underscores the importance of designing a carbon trading scheme with flexibility to ease burdens on firms and still garner environmental benefits.


In this testimony RFF Senior Fellow Richard Morgenstern says U.S. industries that rely heavily on energy and face competition from imports would be most vulnerable under a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

In his testimony Morgenstern highlighted five points:

  • The total economic impacts of proposed climate legislation are relatively small
  • Despite these small impacts, certain energy-intensive and import-sensitive industries are likely to suffer
  • These impacts should decline over time
  • Accurately identifying the most affected industrial segments is not simple
  • Emissions leakage is clearly a long-term problem in certain sectors

In this issue brief, Daniel Bodansky asserts U.S. leadership is essential if global climate issues are to be managed successfully. He suggests that the most important lesson learned from the Kyoto Protocol process is that adoption of domestic legislation is essential to give U.S. foreign policy both international credibility and a domestic political base. To accomplish its aims, U.S. foreign policy will need to find middle ground. Bodansky offers ten guidelines that can help craft an international regime that gives countries flexibility to pursue different tracks and encourage action through financial assistance.

Daniel Bodansky is the Woodruff Professor of International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law.