Governments ‘should implement carbon tax to get rid of fossil fuels’

The energy sector won’t stop using fossil fuels if governments’ policies don’t include taxes on carbon emissions. That’s according to Christopher Knittel, an energy economist at the MIT Sloan School […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The energy sector won’t stop using fossil fuels if governments’ policies don’t include taxes on carbon emissions.

That’s according to Christopher Knittel, an energy economist at the MIT Sloan School of Management who also said: “If we don’t adopt new policies, we’re not going to be leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

“We need both a policy like a carbon tax and to put more research and R&D [Research & Development] money into renewables.”

Although the cost of some renewable projects such as solar have dropped, new drilling and extraction techniques have also made fossil fuels cheaper, his study stated.

That increases “drastic” climate problems, he added.

According to his research, burning all available fossil fuels would raise global average temperatures between 10°F to 15°F by 2100.

Burning oil shale and methane hydrates would add another 1.5°F to 6.2°F to that.

Mr Knittel added: “You often hear, when fossil fuel prices are going up, that if we just leave the market alone we’ll wean ourselves off fossil fuels but the message from the data is clear -t hat’s not going to happen any time soon.”