Ambrose Pritchard, writing in The Telegraph criticises the proposed Democrat Green Deal as being a dirigiste policy with an ulterior motive of ‘fuelling’ the trade war with China. He gives a very cogent explanation of the mechanics of carbon fee and dividend and why he prefers this market led method of carbon pricing. He also argues why the dividend should go directly to consumers…

Mr Biden’s new age Gosplan is not to my taste. Should the Democrats be pledging to install 500 million solar panels and 60,000 wind turbines over the next four years? Is such dirigiste planning the American way?

The laissez faire way is to set a carbon price that ratchets up predictably, letting business respond to the price signal, and letting Schumpeterian competition find its own answers. All former chairmen of the Federal Reserve and a cast of economists of all ideological stripes have backed HR 763, a bipartisan House bill for a carbon tax and dividend.  

It starts at $15 a tonne and ratchets up $10 every year until CO2 emissions are almost eliminated. The money raised is rotated back into people’s pockets. The higher the carbon price, the bigger the cheque, and the poor do best. 

Needless to say, Ursula von der Leyen’s variant in Europe aims to siphon off its carbon tax to fund the Commission’s apparatus. The EU seems to have learned little from the gilets jaunes and the sociology of revolt.