The great leveler: why CO2 prices are crucial?

Energy policies currently act as kingmakers for a select few transition technologies. But they offer no incentives for other, lower cost and more practical alternatives, which could economically decarbonize the whole world by 2050. Hence this 14-page note presents the top five arguments for a simple, transparent, economy-wide CO2 price. We also illustrate who would benefit versus which bubbles may burst.


The need for a level playing field in the energy transition is outlined on pages 2-4. Current policies are overly complex, arbitrary and may even stifle progress.

New technologies would emerge with a CO2 price, as energy transition broadens across every sector. Examples are presented on pages 5-8.

CO2 prices accelerate the pace of progress, as shown on pages 9-11. This matters as past energy transitions took 70-100 years and a faster transition is needed today.

CO2 prices unlock the most economic transition, as the lowest-cost technologies can compete. Pages 12-13 quantify the importance of economics.

CO2 prices can work, as shown on page 13-14. We model that a CO2 price of $40-75/ton can decarbonize the entire United States by 2050, while also unlocking $3.5trn new investment and creating 500,000 new jobs.