Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying fall in oil prices, a carbon price would have been immediately painful for the countries that imposed it, but far better for everyone over the longer term. In this unprecedented moment, introducing a carbon price would be beneficial both now and for the future.
Six years ago, oil was selling for over $100 per barrel. Today, thanks to the twin shocks of a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and falling demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the price is closer to $20 a barrel. That makes this an ideal time for industrialized countries all over the world that have yet to put a price on carbon to follow the lead of those who have.