Seminar with Professor Martin Weitzman on How a Minimum Carbon Price Commitment Might Help Internalize the Global Warming Externality

It is difficult to resolve the global warming free-rider externality problem by negotiating many different quantity targets. By contrast, negotiating a single internationally-binding minimum carbon price (the proceeds from which are domestically retained) counters pure self-interest. A uniform price embodies "countervailing force" against free riding by automatically incentivizing parties to internalize the externality via a simple understandable formula that embodies a common climate commitment based on principles of reciprocity, quid-pro-quo and I-will-if-you-will. Professor Martin Weitzman will give a somewhat technical talk centered on a mathematical model. Some implications are discussed.

Martin L. Weitzman is Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Previously he was on the faculties of MIT and Yale. He has been elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published widely in many leading economic journals and written three books. Weitzman's interests in economics are broad and he has served as consultant for several well-known organizations. His current research is focused on environmental economics, including climate change, the economics of catastrophes, cost-benefit analysis, long-run discounting, green accounting, and comparison of alternative instruments for controlling pollution.