The disastrous flooding in Europe last week is another reminder that the climate crisis is no respecter of borders: carbon (and wildfire smoke) floats above them and roaring rivers crash through them. Borders may have to become part of the solution. They should be porous enough to let climate refugees pass—after all, most such migrants are leaving places that didn’t cause the problem for countries, such as this one, which did. But goods may be another matter. European leaders are starting to get concerned that, if they enact stronger climate measures, even more production will move to places with lower emissions standards. Democrats in the U.S. Senate, who are gearing up to pass a major infrastructure bill containing significant climate spending, have been prompted to include in the bill a rudimentary call for some form of a “polluter import fee.”
By Bill McKibben. New Yorker. July 21, 2021.