Let’s Put a Price on Carbon with Fee and Dividend

The science is settled. Our planet is heating up, and carbon pollution from Dirty Energy is to blame. The fossil fuel industry burns oil, coal and gas, sending heat-trapping emissions into the air. Ninety million tons of carbon pollution enters the atmosphere every day. That means a hotter world for all of us.

Fee and Dividend, It's Time to Put a Price on Carbon

 

It’s Time to Put a Price on Carbon

Nine of the ten hottest years on record were in the past twelve years. Carbon pollution also leads to Extreme Weather – violent rainstorms, prolonged droughts, hurricanes – as well as unprecedented Arctic ice melt, wildfires and severe flooding everywhere on the planet. Climate change is already happening, and it has entered our daily lives. We are all paying the price of carbon pollution – higher food prices, water scarcity, property damage, loss of wildlife, higher insurance premiums, lower crop yields, ecological damage.

The United States is second only to China as the leading emitter of CO2 on the planet. Canada is one of the world’s leading per capita sources of atmospheric greenhouse gases. North Americans must take decisive steps now to reduce their emissions through a comprehensive energy strategy and encourage other nations to follow. An essential component of such a strategy is the introduction of a transparent and effective carbon pricing mechanism.

Carbon Fee and Dividend

There are at least five ways to put a price on carbon. The most transparent carbon pricing instrument is the Carbon Fee and Dividend promoted by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. The carbon fee is a straightforward fee. It is easily explainable and understandable. It requires no time to set up; it’s easy to monitor and it requires no additional bureaucracy.

The federal government would charge a Carbon Fee on fossil fuels where they first enter the economy as a way to stimulate the transition away from fossil fuel dependence and towards clean energy alternatives. A direct and steadily-increasing carbon fee will accelerate this transition by erasing fossil fuels’ artificial price advantage over energy efficiency and low-carbon energy.

The Carbon Fee and Dividend is a revenue-neutral price on carbon.  All of the money collected would be returned to Canadians on an equitable basis. The fee increases steadily each year so that clean energy is cheaper than fossil fuels within a decade.

Data compiled by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby shows that (in Canada) under this plan,  66% percent of Canadian households would break even or receive more in their dividend cheque than they would pay for the increased cost of energy, thereby protecting the poor and middle class.

A predictably increasing carbon price will send a clear market signal which will unleash entrepreneurs and investors in the new clean-energy economy.

Sweden imposed a price on carbon in 1990 that is now 100 Euros per ton – a significantly hefty price. Since 1990, Sweden has reduced emissions while GDP has risen 36%, demonstrating that a substantial fee is effective in reducing emissions without harming the economy. From the David Suzuki Foundation Newsletter:

Although some critics claim a carbon tax would damage the economy, Sweden’s carbon tax is a hefty $140 per tonne of carbon pollution. Since the carbon tax was introduced, Sweden’s economy has grown by more than 100 per cent, and the country recently ranked fourth in the world on economic competitiveness.

More than five years ago, British Columbia implemented a carbon tax shift, and the outcome has so far been good both for the environment and the economy. British Columbians emitted 9.9% less greenhouse gases in 2010 than when the tax started, compared with 5% fewer emissions for the rest of Canada. BC’s GDP growth actually outpaced the rest of Canada’s after the tax was imposed. This is in line with evidence from seven other countries with similar policies that have had neutral or slightly positive effects on GDP.

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your leaders. It’s time to have the carbon conversation. It’s time for Canada and the United States to put a price on carbon and begin the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Find your Cost of Carbon.

________

Rolly Montpellier, BoomerWarrior.org

Rolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org.

Rolly is also a registered Climate Leader (Climate Reality Leadership Corps) a blogger, an activist and a Climate Change presenter.

BoomerWarrior is for the socially aware and politically conscious; for the change-makers and thought-provokers; for the light and young at heart; for anyone willing and courageous enough to move forward. 

 

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9 Responses to Let’s Put a Price on Carbon with Fee and Dividend

  1. While I fully agree with you that there must be a price on carbon. I would like to point out other “prices” that are having an effect. It has recently come to my attention that EXXON has agreed to a shareholder demand to assess the “stranded assets” issue to share value should a carbon tax or pollution regulations be enacted. A response is expected within a month. That opened another thought. Fossil industries spend 100s of millions of $$$ each year denigrating the science of global warming. Surely many of those share holders must have diversified portfolios that have green investments. Those shareholders might want to evaluate how those slanders are effecting the performance of their green investments. The very thing that makes Pollutocrats rich makes us poor.

    “War becomes perpetual when used as a rational for peace,” Norman Solomon. “Peace becomes perpetual when used as a rational for survival.” Yours truly. Socially enabled capitalism is a failed paradigm. War is a prime example. Stop profits from the exploitation and pollution of the commons. Give PEACE a chance. Give Green a chance. Hell, give HUMANITY A CHANCE!

  2. Pingback: Let’s Put a Price on Carbon with Fee and Dividend | ClimateState

  3. Leif – nice to hear from you again. Thanks for your comments.

    1. By “stranded assets”, do you mean those assets still in the ground – reserves of fossil fuels still unexploited?
    2. You are right when you say that some shareholders of fossil fuel companies have “green” assets in their portfolios but I would think that would be relatively smaller amounts, almost insignificant in the larger picture.
    3. I enjoy your twist on Norman Solomon’s phrase – “Peace becomes perpetual when used as a rational for survival.” Peace indeed but not just from the absence of war. What about the peace of mind that would come from saving our environment – oceans, air, water, crops, etc – from the ravages of global warming?

    Thanks for your interest in BoomerWarrior. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter if you with to make contact there.

    • #1. Yes
      #2. Added up those investments are no longer insignificant IMO. Divest while the getting is good. Your “Profit from Pollution” portfolio will never be worth more. For the benefit of others. I assume you are divested.
      #3. Thank you.

      • Divestment is becoming more widespread as investors, both individual and corporate, are becoming aware of the imminent decline of fossil fuels as we enter the next industrial revolution based on clean energy. This will not happen tomorrow but it will happen.

        Thanks Leif

    • P.S. I use the example for fossil share holders to put pressure on the Pollutocrats to come clean and stop policies that hinder the advancement in other investments. Folks do not like losing money I have noticed. Not usually rational about it however.

      • Would it not be nice to have people do the right thing for the right reasons – you know change their investment behaviour for environmental reasons, to leave a better legacy for future generations. We will change our behaviour for monetary gain however. That said, the important thing is to have governments enact policy changes to propel the markets i the right direction toward clean energy.

        Thanks Leif.

  4. Fossil Barons are crying about “stranded assets” should they be forced to leave a goodly portion of their carbon assets on the ground because of pollution requirements. Well tough shit. It is the American way. Privatizes profits and socialized loses is a failed paradigm. Another stranded asset is the equity of the climate refugees homes, farms, businesses etc. that now become worthless. If climate refugees are forced to leave, who is going to buy? This can become a Big pile of dough, lost by those that can least afford it. At least “Corpro/People” will be spared the soup lines for a generation or two.

    The SW USA could be giving us an example in a year or so should the drought conditions prevail. World wide climate refugees will be in the millions in a heart beat or to.

    So as you talk about your “stranded assets” Fossil Barons, well I would like to say this about that. We the people face a few “stranded assets” ourselves if you ecocide pollutocrats don’t start behaving like the “People” you have elected to become. You have a fiduciary responsibility to Planetary life support systems as do “We the People” of yore. We are just awakening to that responsibility in Western cultures. Quite unlike most “primitive” cultures. GOPollutocrats however can only see $$$ and power.

    So grab a hand. Help make a stand. Show GOPollutocrats who’s in command.

    • Leif – I think you should write a 500 word (approximate) article and I will post it on my website. The title could be “Climate Change Stranded Assets”. I find the material in your comments quite informative and a precursor of what is to come in the not too distant future.

      You’ve identified at least 3 categories of stranded assets already – fossil fuels still in the ground. property rendered worthless by rising ocean levels and property losses from the ongoing drought in the U.S. And then, what about the drying up of groundwater for drinking and irrigation?

      If you’re on Facebook, you can message me and we can make this work. Or use this email: r.montpellier@boomerwarrior.org

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