India has made a fine start by setting up a panel to envision a domestic market for carbon permits. It may prove hard to institute, but pollution pricing could combat climate change. The covid pandemic has not only scrunched the global economy, which is likely to contract by more than 4% this year, it may also have slowed the world’s battle-charge against climate change. The 26th United Nations climate summit (or CoP26) has been postponed by a year to next November. Signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement have been quibbling over the design of a global carbon market, delaying emission-choking green projects, and kicking other such cans down the road. Coronavirus offers us no reprieve from the urgency to arrest global warming, though. Air pollution that entraps heat must be capped at the earliest and a usable set of rules framed for the trading of carbon permits, so that the very mechanism of market prices that spelt prosperity for much of the world can be deployed to contain its environmental fallout.

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