The International Energy Agency has released their 2019 World Energy Outlook report and their prognose for our planet is grim. Executive Director, Dr. Faith Birol states that “the world urgently needs to put a laser-like focus on bringing down global emissions” and calls “for a grand coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is committed to tackling climate change.”

One school of thought has developed calling for restrictions on global trade as a mechanism for reducing C02 emissions. A recent study cited in Nature Communications found that an extreme anti-trade scenario placing an added 25% tariff on all traded products would reduce C02 emissions by 6.3% and ambient particulate matter mortality by 4.1%. However, this would also reduce global export volume by 32.5% and gross domestic product by 9.0%.

Assuming that the above analysis is accurate, would such a restriction be justifiable?

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