Today, the 5th January 2021, there is an article in The Guardian endorsing CF&D as the best way to tax carbon, promote decarbonisation and create a fairer post pandemic world! It will be interesting to see the reaction to this article, it may signal wider acceptance of the benefits of CF&D across the political spectrum.

In the article in the Opinion section of the Guardian Online (5/1/2021), Henry D Jacoby, Emiritus Professor of Management at MIT and former co-director of the MIT joint program on the science and policy of global change, gives an good summary of the CF&D policy, which he calls

“so elegant that it seems too good to be true”. 

Jacoby also discusses the main stumbling block for the promotion of CF&D, namely the public and governmental perception of the role of taxation. However he argues that, as governments are all having to go outside their policy comfort zones to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, now may be the best time for a radical new approach to carbon taxation….

But if now isn’t the time to try bold new solutions – when we’ve seen that governments can move mountains in the right circumstances – then when is? And though it looks radical, the dividend really is just a rather elegant solution to a major problem, which neatly circumvents many of the usual political objections to increased taxation. It might even be the first highly popular tax.

Happily I managed to get a letter about this article published in the Guardian on the 7th January, despite the tumultuous events over the pond!..

In his article “There’s a simple way to green the economy – and it involves cash prizes for all (5/1/21)”Harold D Jacoby gives a brilliant analysis of the benefits of a Carbon Fee or Dividend (or Climate Income) carbon pricing policy and why there are some psychological barriers to its wider adoption. Citizens Climate Lobby is an international grassroots environmental group which has been respectfully encouraging politicians to consider adopting Carbon Fee and Dividend since 2007. 

CF&D has successfully been adapted in Canada and Switzerland (although Switzerland does not currently tax fuel for energy while it moves towards the development of more renewable energy systems). Canadians could have replaced its implementer, Trudeau, last year and ditch the policy, they didn’t…. 

Our Government acknowledged the merits of the tax in its recent Carbon Pricing Report but there is a psychological barrier as Jacoby points out…  Treasury doesn’t like hypothecated taxes or dividends! We at Citizens Climate Lobby UK are working hard to change their mind!. Do take a look at our website and consider supporting us.

Catherine Dawson,

Citizens Climate Lobby UK