I corrected my sentence after reading your quotation... but you got my point.Interesting point.
If CO2 was your primary concern and motivation, it would make perfect sense for the governments in northern states to pay Arizona or other sunshine states to install solar panels there instead of subsidizing inefficient panels in the north. Unless CO2 reduction wasn't really your motivation.
Initially I had come upon this realization by asking myself how I would maximize my return on investment if I were installing solar myself. My conclusion was that since the cost of installation is roughly the same regardless of where I install, I could generate more electricity in Phoenix than in rainy northern Oregon. Not only that, but electricity is cheaper (less valuable) up here. If I installed the panels on someone's house in Phoenix, I could offer them reduced rates for the generated electricity while still coming out ahead since that location would produce way more electricity than I could otherwise achieve up here.
Most programs when evaluated for cost/benefit show either ignorance or corruption. Whenever a decision is made, it forfeits all other potentially better decisions (opportunity cost). Hanlon's Razor says ""never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity", but we see many examples of ideas that on the surface would appear to be beneficial, but either deliver very little in return, or worse, are counterproductive to their original intent.
The $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs comes to mind. Once a manufacturer runs out of credits, it places them at a $7,500 disadvantage to their competitors. How about EV's in the HOV lane? We are placing the most efficient vehicles into the most efficient lane of travel. EVs in particular excel at stop and go driving, but we place semis, dump trucks, and other heavy inefficient vehicles in the stop and go lane and send the EVs on their way. Did we reduce CO2? Is anyone asking that question? That's why we're creating the programs, right?