July 27, 2009 11:00AM

French Folly

Following the dubious example set recently by U.S. legislators, French politicians have informally proposed slapping punitive tariffs on goods from countries who refuse to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The German State Secretary for the Environment has, quite rightly, called foul:

There are two problems — the WTO (World Trade Organization), and the signal would be that this is a new form of eco‐​imperialism,” Machnig said.

 “We are closing our markets for their products, and I don’t think this is a very helpful signal for the international negotiations.”

I have a paper forthcoming on the carbon tariff issue, but in the meantime here’s a recent op‐​ed (written jointly with Pat Michaels) on climate change policy mis‐​steps.