This page updated May 2021
If you are a UK policymaker, here are some fact-finding links to support research into:
- whether a climate income (carbon fee & dividend CF&D) is the correct mechanism for curbing a substantial amount of fossil fuel-generated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
- how a UK CF&D carbon pricing instrument (CPI) can be shaped.
To discuss this in more depth, in the first instance, please contact the helpdesk
- Pricing Carbon during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic (Grantham Institute (London School of Economics), May 2020)
- The Future of Carbon Pricing (Policy Exchange, July 2018)
- Distributional Impacts of a Carbon Price in the UK (Grantham Institute (London School of Economics), March 2020) states that :
Judicious use of carbon tax revenues can help ensure distributional
fairness and protection for low-income and fuel-poor households
while driving the transition to net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050.
- Distributional Impacts of Carbon Pricing on Households (Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, UK is a member; briefing prepared by Climate Strategies)
- Jerome Mayhew: The carbon proposal that the Government should put at the heart of its plan for COP26 (Jan 21) ( Jerome Mayhew, Conservative MP and member of the Environmental Audit committee argues for a carbon tax with Border Carbon Adjustments with the argument which should appeal to a government with a free market philosophy…..
As a Conservative, I feel queasy when I read of the Government “picking winners” in low carbon technologies, and setting five-year plans for industrial sectors. It feels more like 1930s-style Soviet practice than a free market dynamo of innovation and growth.
But by setting a strong market signal through a meaningful carbon price, the dynamic is changed: instead of trying to replace the market, we free it to solve the problem of carbon emissions, and without spending a penny of taxpayers’ money.
The Future of UK Carbon Pricing (UK Government BEIS report, June 2020). The section pertaining to CF&D (pp.38-9) refers to CCL’s responses to the government consultation……
Placing a price on carbon creates the incentive for emissions to be reduced in a cost effective and technology-neutral way, while mobilising the private sector to invest in emissions reduction technologies and measures.
Advocates of the approach highlight that a well-designed scheme would have social and environmental benefits, equitably distributing the revenues and stimulating investment in low carbon technologies……..emissions to be reduced in a cost effective and technology-neutral way, while mobilising the private sector to invest in emissions reduction technologies and measures.
- Making Carbon Pricing Work for Citizens (July 2018, Oxford Martin School, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE))
- Report of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices (May 2017, Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition)
– The CF&D instrument, methodology, coverage and fairness and how it would work with an ETS.
This briefing was prepared for the EU Inception Impact Assessment – Ares(2020)1350037, Carbon Border Adjustment mechanism, for the European Green Deal
How does it work in Canada?
British Columbia, Canada has had CF&D since 2008; it was then introduced to other Canadian provinces without a similarly effective carbon price (ie a backstop) in January 2019.
Canada’s estimated results of the federal carbon pollution pricing system: Reports the estimated effects of emissions reductions measures. It states that Carbon pricing will prevent 80-90 MT of Greenhouse gas emissions by 2022, Clean Fuel Standard 30 MT by 2030, Methane regulations 21MT by 2025, and Coal Phase Out 16 MT by 2030.
How does it work in Switzerland?
- Climate Dividend – the exponential way forward in emission pricing (White paper prepared by Cleantech21, Switzerland, March 2020). Switzerland has put a fee on heating oil/gas since 2008 with two thirds returned dividend and one third to a building renovation fund. Current price (2020) is USD100/tCO2
- Taxing Energy Use 2019: Country Note – Switzerland
Progress in the US
- The Environmental, Economic and Health Impact of Carbon Fee and Dividend (Citizens’ Climate Lobby; report prepared by the Regional Economic Modeling, Inc, 2014)
- The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act
- The Senate and House of Representatives Climate Solutions caucuses
An example of the effects of a carbon tax without a redistributive element (Sweden)
The distributional effects of a carbon tax: The role of income inequality (Grantham Institute (London School of Economics), September 2020)
The argument for a worldwide carbon pricing policy
In 2016, the 195 nations who signed the Paris Agreement asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to study the implications of a 1.5°C global temperature target. Their report, entitled Global Warming of 1.5°C, was released in October 2018. This report clarifies the benefits of holding the modern-day rise in global average temperature to 1.5°C rather than 2.0°C. The report states that high prices on Greenhouse gas emissions will be necessary to cost-effectively stay below 1.5°C. To prevent a tax revolt, the money collected must be returned to the people.
The IPCC report underscores the importance of quickly adopting strong carbon pricing. Most importantly, Climate Income enacted globally would cut emissions 50 percent by 2034, a level consistent with the IPCC recommendation for staying below 1.5°C.
The EN-ROADS Policy Simulator from Climate Interactive can be used to test various plans for controlling global temperatures:
- Current projections indicate the planet is on track for a baseline global warming 3.6ºC by 2100.
- Ending fossil fuel subsidies made no material difference: 3.6ºC
- Subsidizing renewables barely budged the global temperature: 3.5ºC
- Subsidizing renewables + aggressively taxing Fossil Fuels: 3.0ºC
- Pricing greenhouse gas (carbon) pollution as per IPCC recommendations: 2.6ºC.
This edition of the IMF Finance and Development magazine (Dec 2019) is dedicated to the economics of climate change.
In the article Putting a price on pollution: Carbon-pricing strategies could hold the key to meeting the world’s climate stabilization goals (p16) Ian Parry, principal environmental fiscal policy expert, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, puts the case for carbon pricing with a mitigating/redistributive element (he doesn’t directly refer to CF&D) and against emission trading systems….
And although trading systems provide more certainty in respect to future emissions, they provide less certainty regarding emission prices, which might deter clean-technology investment.
There is also an article by Mark Carney, then Governor of the Bank of England, Fifty Shades of Green: The world needs a new, sustainable financial system to stop runaway climate change (p.13).