What is needed is effective action now rather than stalling by taking small or short-term action (as COP21 in Paris may well produce). The linked article discusses why Republicans will fight cumbersome regulations, but may support a Carbon Fee & Dividend plan; which then could be scaled up to other countries (see extract). http://californiacarbon.info/2015/03/09/opinion-fee-dividend-better-cap-trade-fighting-climate-change/
Extract: "The complexity of cap and trade is also a barrier to scaling up the program without reducing its effectiveness. Getting the details wrong can mean the difference between success and failure. The European Union’s program is a case in point: It hasn’t adequately reduced emissions partly because the cap was set too high and attempts to remedy the problem haven’t worked yet.
There is no time for that sort of trial and error if we are to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Instead, we need a price on carbon that we know will work and that can be implemented effectively and quickly.
There is a simple solution that will bring down emissions quickly without increasing the size of government, and without cumbersome regulation, both of which are anathema to Republicans. It’s called a carbon “fee and dividend” plan.
It works like this: A fee is placed on carbon-based fuels at the source (well, mine, port of entry). This fee would start at $15 per ton of CO2 emitted and increase steadily and predictably each year by $10. Within a decade, clean energy would be cheaper than fossil fuels, giving entrepreneurs and investors an incentive to back clean energy sources.
All the revenue realized from the fees would be evenly distributed to all Americans to help pay for increased costs of goods and services. And while cap and trade puts more of the burden of increased costs on lower-income Americans who spend a greater share of their income on energy, fee and dividend protects the less well-to-do. Because they use less energy on an absolute basis, their equal dividend share will more than cover their added costs.
Fee and dividend would also include a border adjustment, so that importers from countries that do not adopt similar carbon pricing would pay their fees at our border. Economically, this ensures a level playing field for U.S. companies. On the emissions side, it ensures that secondary consumption is accounted for, and encourages all countries to place similar fees on carbon.
Fee and dividend is a policy that climate scientists and economists agree is a good first step to reduce catastrophic effects of climate change. California would benefit because the rapid decrease in emissions would be good for the state’s pollution problem and would make costly future AB 32 regulations unnecessary.
And it scales easily. As more nations adopt the system, worldwide demand will bring green technologies to mass market faster, driving down costs and making the transition to a green economy easier for everyone.
But the biggest advantage of enacting carbon fee and dividend is that it’s the quickest way to bring down emissions so we can stabilize, then start restoring, our climate for our grandchildren."