Harvard economist N Gregory Mankiw, a former adviser to President George W Bush, believes a carbon tax would be the best way of attempting to cut U.S. emissions of the gas.
The "fee would be built into the prices of products and lifestyles," says Mankiw. "When making everyday decisions, people would naturally look at the prices they face and, in effect, take into account the global impact of their choices."
A Congressional bill to impose a carbon tax has been introduced by four Democrats, putting its passage through the House into doubt. Mankiw reckons that if the proceeds from the levy were used to reduce personal and corporate income tax, the Republicans might come on board.