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Opinion: Hey, Exxon: Carbon taxes, oil-subsidy cuts coming soon

The Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery Joliet, Ill.

“If we collectively chicken out of this we’ll all turn into chickens and we’ll all be fried, grilled, toasted and roasted,” warned Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the annual joint IMF and World Bank meeting in Lima, Peru, reported Deutsche Welle News.

Yes, the whole world — not just the unfortunate island nations sinking into the Pacific Ocean, but everybody, including Miami and Manhattan — will be “fried, grilled, toasted and roasted” by climate change, yes, a lot of big cities and all 200 member nations of the United Nations will suffer from global warming.

No question about it, the impact is unfair: America, EU, all rich nations continue dumping more than 10 times as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere, oceans and earth than poor nations, yet the big polluters keep getting richer and richer. And to make matters worse, the rich keep shifting their pollution costs onto the backs of poorer nations who suffer most from climate change.

True, rich nations have made a commitment to central bankers to help solve this climate-cost inequity with special funds more than $100 billion. But this voluntary shift of capital has a huge shortfall. In addition, said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate talks executive secretary, “of the 146 countries that already submitted their pledges to reduce emissions before the December climate discussions in Paris there is just not enough to bring down the levels of greenhouse gases.”

At this rate, after the UN’s Paris Accord, global temperatures could continue to rise as much as 50% above toxic levels: “National pledges to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, even if fully implemented, would cap global warming at 3 degrees Celsius rather than the 2 degrees targeted to avoid dangerous consequences, the European Commission said.” Hitting the target would require rich nations to make bigger cutbacks.

The accelerating global warming trend recently prompted the endangered poorer nations to...