Our monthly national meeting, a few days ago, focussed on the question of what CCL-UK should be doing in the few weeks between now and COP26. We were fortunate to have Joe Robertson (who will lead the International CCL delegation at COP) on the call to give us his opinions on the matter. I think he gave all of us a lot to think about.
I was inspired by the meeting to write to my own MP who, by coincidence, has just been given a very junior government position which gave me an opportunity to write to congratulate him and then follow up with a request. What I asked was:
On another matter, I’d like to ask you to contact Alok Sharma as COP26 President. I understand that, whilst the UK holds the presidency, we are in a unique position to gently persuade other countries concerning the contents of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). As such, could Alok please suggest that all future NDCs contain carbon-pricing plans set above a floor-price as recently suggested by the IMF. As you are aware, a similar policy in the UK led to rapid demise of our coal-powered generating capacity and the associated rapid rise of offshore wind-power. This is frequently held up as an example, to the world, of how to move towards net-zero in an efficient and politically sustainable manner.
The idea is one step at a time. If we get countries to accept the idea of carbon pricing they will also, eventually, have to think about how to make such policies fair on the least well-off and that will, hopefully, give us an opportunity to suggest Climate-Income.
Incidentally, the IMF report referred to in my letter can be found here. It’s not exactly Carbon-Income but it’s a step on the way and they are quite right, I think, to say that an international carbon price floor could make border carbon adjustments unnecessary. That would help us sell Carbon-Income at home.
Feel free to borrow, alter or otherwise use my text above if you, too, now feel inspired to write to your MP. Lots of gentle pushes can build up to an irresistible force.