John Kerry and Newt Gingrich debated climate change solutions in Washington. Both agree it is a problem requiring immediate action--the debate was about how to tackle the issue, according to the Voice of America News.
Kerry insists that government take a leading role in setting new environmental standards, including limits on carbon dioxide emissions for private industry.
Gingrich prefers a voluntary approach including economic incentives, like tax credits, that would encourage change on the part of businesses and consumers.
"The morning you provide the incentives, there will be 50,000 entrepreneurs figuring out how to get the money," he said. "The morning you try to do it by regulation, there will be 50,000 entrepreneurs hiring a lawyer to fight you. It is a fundamentally different model."
Senator Kerry takes issue with what he called a strict market approach to solving the problem. Kerry says that, historically, environmental action has come about through government involvement. He cites the environmental movement that developed in the U.S. in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
"That is when we passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act and that is when Richard Nixon signed the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] into existence because people rose up and said we want something different, not because the marketplace was doing it voluntarily," he said.
Kerry and Gingrich agree on the importance of encouraging industrial giants like China and India to take part in climate change efforts.
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