Ask your MP:
“This month, I/we were really pleased to see that the government recognised the ‘merits’ of a carbon fee and dividend in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, crucial in tackling climate change.
This was stated by the department of agriculture, environment and rural affairs in an official response to the results of a carbon pricing consultation they commissioned last year.
Can you tell me/us why the department said they do ‘not propose to adopt it at this time’?”
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It’s amazing progress…
…for the government to ‘recognise the merits of a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy’ (aka Climate Income).
But now we want to know why they ‘do not propose to adopt it at this time’.
No reasons were given – and we won’t be fobbed off!
To gain the best answer from your MP, email your question, with a link to the report, in advance – they may have a chance to research their answer, rather than react to it on the hoof.
Want to talk it through?
We are running a Zoom call tomorrow evening (Monday) at 8pm to talk this through. At the end, there will be an introduction to CCL and climate income for new members. Please email for details information.
Have this information at hand when you ask your question
For your MP:
Where did the government talk about carbon fee and dividend?
This month, the department of agriculture, environment and rural affairs gave a response to the results of the Future of UK Carbon Pricing, a consultation they commissioned which ran until July last year.
Where, in the response, is carbon fee and dividend mentioned?
Menu item, ‘A note on carbon fee and dividend’, page 38 (see section below for the wording).
What is carbon fee and dividend?
Direct them to this webpage: citizensclimatelobby.uk/policy-makers
- A fee is placed on fossil fuels as they are extracted, or enter the UK. This rises each year until it is high enough to make burning fossil fuels uneconomical.
- The money collected is given back as a climate income equally to UK people; all adults receive the same amount, half for children.
- When fossil fuels are exported by UK businesses the fee is rebated. Countries with a similar carbon fee importing fossil fuels into the UK will not have to pay the UK fee.
How does carbon fee and dividend/climate income work?
Different MPs will be interested in different aspects of carbon fee and dividend – one of the reasons it’s such a strong policy.
- It makes fossil fuels uneconomical and so removes their use.
- It supports UK household incomes (between two thirds and four fifths of households) and vulnerable people by giving them a financial cushion during the transition to clean energy.
- It supports business by allowing them to plan for the change to clean energy and stimulates investment in clean energy.
- It will cost the government NOTHING.
- US and Swiss research suggests ALL greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by this policy alone by 40 percent in nine years.
- It would reduce emissions worldwide by encouraging the rest of the world to have a similar fee on fossil fuels – why would they want to pay a fee to the UK when they could keep it themselves?
If your MP says they do not know why the government is not adopting a carbon fee and dividend, ask them to find out why and write back to you.
The aim of the question
To press the government for valid reasons to their rejection of carbon fee and dividend, because none were given.
This will, at the least, allow CCL to address their objections or, at best, pressure them into reconsidering their rejection. If we keep up the heat, a ‘no’ can change to yes!
Why did the government single out CCL UK / carbon fee and dividend?
A significant number of CCL UK members took part in the consultation, so the ensuing report of results (released last year) devoted a section to both CCL UK and carbon fee and dividend. A year later, in their response to the results, the department of the environment gave their current stance on carbon fee and dividend.
NB: there was a government consultation on UK carbon pricing, then a report of the results of the consultation, then a government response to the results of the consultation.
Why are we calling it carbon fee & dividend, not climate income?
Although CCL UK calls the policy the more friendly ‘climate income’, the term we use with policy makers is the original name, ‘carbon fee and dividend’.
But isn’t this bad news: a rejection of carbon fee and dividend?
We think it’s real progress – an official government report has recognised the ‘merits’ of CF&D. But simply saying they don’t want to adopt it, is, to be frank, quite lazy – both in lack of reasoning and in effecting a serious reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The current system (the mostly ineffective Emission Reduction System) is ok and raising taxes is problematic so, they will be asking themselves, why make life harder? At the moment the government probably thinks CF&D is too big a change to bother with what might appear to be a risky gamble. We have to keep on with the message that this is supported by Nobel prize winning economists and the like – it is not just a good idea from a few people. It’s a real opportunity for on-the-ball CCL members. The government underestimates us if they think we will be fobbed off with such a casual brush off. Or maybe they thought we simply wouldn’t notice the report..?
Word for Word
Relevant section from “The future of UK carbon pricing – UK Government and Devolved Administrations’ response”
Page 38, ‘A Note on Carbon Fee and Dividend’
Summary of responses
199. 31 consultation responses from non-participants suggested the adoption of a Carbon Fee and Dividend approach as an alternative policy [to a UK Emissions Trading Scheme].
200. The Carbon Fee and Dividend approach involves introducing an escalating fee on fossil fuels, which is imposed as close to the extraction point of the fuel as possible. 100% of the funds raised after deduction of administration costs are redistributed to the population. Business competitiveness issues are mitigated by imposing import fees on products entering the country and rebates to exporting businesses. 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.
UK Government’s and Devolved Administrations’ response
201. The preferred approach, expressed by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations in the consultation document and supported by scheme participants, is for an effective emissions reduction tool. 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. While we recognise the merits of a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy, we do not propose to adopt it at this time.