Climate blog

Carbon Fee & Dividend

Published by Sam Page on 15 November 2014

Image This is straightforward, equitable and efficient way rapidly to achieve a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  

We are writing to organisations and individuals seeking support for a UK coalition of support for a Carbon Tax and Dividend which we believe would bring public support for the necessary price rise for carbon to aid the transition away from a fossil fuel economy. It would also help politicians to ‘sell’ a carbon tax.

"I've been an active supporter of the "Tax and Dividend" approach for a long time...you can definitely count on my personal support."  - Jonathon Porritt


                                                                                          Average monthly dividend for a family of four.

It is apparent that moving from a fossil fuel to a low carbon economy is not happening with the necessary urgency for tackling climate change.

Politicians are not honest with us about the damaging and widespread impacts of failing to put this central stage of Government policy and are frightened to impose further taxation on their electorate, knowing that many people would also oppose a carbon tax.

For this reason, the US-based Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) proposes a Carbon Fee (Tax) and Dividend – a revenue neutral tax whereby the revenue from the fee is returned to all households on an equitable basis to shield families from rising energy costs.

The proposal is that a Carbon Fee (Tax) and Dividend would place a steadily-rising fee on the CO2 content of carbon-based fuels at the source (well, mine, port of entry), the fee on each ton of CO2 rising $10 each year. All revenue from the fee would be returned equitably to all households to shield families from rising energy costs. Carbon tax border adjustments would protect exports and encourage importing countries to follow suit.

In June, CCL released a study from Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) that examined their proposal and found that
1) CO2 emissions would be reduced 50 percent in 20 years and
2) during that time, recycling revenue from the fee back into the economy provides a stimulus that adds 2.8 million jobs.

See: http://citizensclimatelobby.org/remi-report/

Also: http://citizensclimatelobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/REMI-National-SUMMARY.pdf

This is clearly not within a debate vacuum about carbon tax or pricing:

"The most powerful move that a government can make in the fight against climate change is to put a price on carbon," Vice-President of Sustainability for the World Bank.

And from the Wall Street Journal - October 2014 - It’s Time to pass a Carbon Tax. It would encourage more private capital investment in low-carbon energy resources. It would provide more policy certainty for financiers, regulated utilities, and energy entrepreneurs.”

Representatives from Citizens’ Climate Lobby have been invited by both the World Bank and the IMF economics staff to provide technical briefings on the policy’s potential for propagating strong carbon pricing even in the absence of a binding UN protocol.