Put a price on it graphic

There are many ways to reduce global warming pollution – from saving energy to eating less red meat. But some students say there’s a more effective strategy.

Green: “We’re asking to level the playing field and let the free market solve this problem.”

That’s Chandler Green, a graduate student at American University. She’s part of the “Put a Price On It” campaign, which mobilizes students nationwide to support a carbon tax.

The idea is that companies would pay for the carbon pollution they emit. This would increase the cost of burning fossil fuels.

Green: “When we account for the full costs of fossil fuels – so those are costs that we pay for air and water pollution, costs that we pay from global warming impacts – when we raise the price of carbon to account for those costs, we have then leveled the playing field for clean energy, we encourage growth there, and thus we reduce harmful emissions.”

Through political advocacy, media outreach, and campus organizing, Green and her peers hope to see this idea catch on.

She says the effects of global warming are going to fall heavily on her generation, so she and the other students are motivated to act.

Green: “We have a role to play, we have a sense of agency.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy. Images used with permission by TheClimateSolution.

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Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the editor-in-chief of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist,...