It’s called a carbon border adjustment and it’s designed to motivate polluting countries to reduce their emissions.

On Sept. 28, one of the largest hurricanes in U.S. history tore through

Florida, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Many experts are attributing its power to climate change.

Floridians are in desperate need of real climate action from the government, but many of the climate policies floating around Congress either hurt American businesses or fail to limit pollution from other more carbon-intensive countries. We need a policy that avoids both of those things, one that’s designed to efficiently reduce emissions: a carbon border adjustment.

First, however, I want to explain why a climate policy is necessary for

Floridians.

Most Floridians are familiar with the harrowing data from the storm:

114 deaths, more than 45,000 people displaced, and approximately 2.7 million people left without power for days, according to Reuters.

Some storm surges were 10 feet high.

Insurance companies expect to face over $55 billion in losses, and FEMA Director Deanne Criswell warns that the hurricane will cost the U.S government several billion dollars. These costs to the U.S government will likely be transferred to taxpayers.

Hurricane Ian was unusually strong, causing more damage than we were equipped to handle. There’s a reason for this. According to a CBS News interview with NOAA, Ian’s unusual power can be attributed to the unnaturally warm waters in the Atlantic Ocean caused partly by climate change.

An NOAA expert, Richard Knabb, says when a hurricane passes over very warm waters,

it can intensify dramatically in a short period of time. This is called rapid intensification. The overly warm waters of the Atlantic turned Ian from a tropical storm into a category 4 hurricane in only 36 hours.

As tropical storms intensify into hurricanes more often, Floridians and Florida businesses will experience disruptions, displacements, and staggering personal losses more often.

Floridians are also at risk of facing higher insurance premiums and tax raises.

The warming climate also will damage agriculture, and produce extreme heat and sea level rise.

A national climate solution to protect the financial and physical well-being of Floridians is long past due. Luckily for us, there is a recently proposed climate solution that will not only address the largest polluters in the international field, but will benefit American businesses: a carbon

border adjustment. (CBA)

A CBA is a fee levied on imported goods from foreign companies, based on the carbon content of the goods. If the importing company is from a

country that has less effective carbon regulations than the U.S., a fee is charged. Some powerful economic competitors of the U.S. can manufacture goods cheaply because they have fewer regulations on pollution. Then, these companies pollute an exorbitant amount, significantly more than American

companies.

A CBA incentivizes countries producing carbon emissions to adopt cleaner manufacturing processes and energy sources. A CBA is a climate policy that does not target American businesses and bolsters the American economy. It’s the perfect fit for both parties.

Two Democratic senators introduced a CBA bill in 2021. It is estimated that 12% of U.S. imports would be subject to the tax, which would take

effect in 2024.

Considering the potentially devastating damage Florida risks facing from a warming climate, the state’s two Republican senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, should priortize throwing their support behind this proposed legislation.

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