Carbon Fee and Dividend – A Way to Help Families Transition to a Carbon-Free Economy

Carbon Fee and Dividend

Imagine a market-based solution to climate change that averts the worst of climate disaster; gives businesses an incentive to reduce their carbon footprints; and helps families and individuals make the transition to a carbon-free economy.  

Then look at  the carbon fee and dividend plan that has been developed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. This non-partisan, not-for-profit group has designed a program that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 52% below 1990 levels within 20 years, while also growing the economy; saving lives; and ensuring that families have the funds they need to pay for increased energy costs.

How Does It Work?

The carbon fee dividend plan imposes a fee and structured rising price on the CO2 equivalent emissions of fossil fuels at the point where they enter the economy. Specifically, the plan proposes an initial fee of $15/ton on the CO2 equivalent emissions of fossil fuels, escalating $10/ton/year, imposed upstream at the mine, well or port of entry. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby says their plan:

  • Will stimulate investment in alternative-energy technologies.
  • Gives businesses incentives to increase their energy-efficiency and reduce carbon footprints in order to remain competitive.
  • Ensures families and individuals are able to pay for increased energy costs, by returning 100% of the revenue from the carbon fee directly to households as a monthly dividend.
  • Includes a carbon-fee equivalent tariff for goods entering the U.S. from countries without comparable carbon fees or carbon pricing, in order to discourage the relocation of the production of goods or services from the U.S.
  • Is an efficient, transparent, and enforceable mechanism to drive an effective and fair transition to a domestic-energy economy.
  • Includes a carbon-fee equivalent tariff for goods entering the U.S. from countries without comparable carbon fees or carbon pricing, in order to discourage the relocation of the production of goods or services from the U.S.
  • Is an efficient, transparent, and enforceable mechanism to drive an effective and fair transition to a domestic-energy economy.

A Bold Plan with Economic Benefits

According to this non-partisan group, their carbon fee and dividend plan would return more dollars to households than individuals and families will pay for increased energy costs.  Therefore, the “rebate” has the potential to:

  • Inject billions into the economy, potentially creating  2.8 million jobs. 
  • Protect family budgets.
  • Free households to make independent choices about their energy usage
  • Spur innovation and build aggregate demand for low-carbon products at the consumer level.

Who is Supporting this Initiative?

Most impressive is the work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby…If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group.

– Dr. James Hansen

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Support for their carbon fee and dividend plan comes from economists, scientists, business leaders, faith leaders, local governments, and editorial boards across the political spectrum.   

Learn More

Visit Citizens Climate Lobby to learn about the 2016 lobby day; trainings; and local chapters across the country.

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