Citizens’ Climate International Press release:

SEPT. 29, 2023 — Citizens’ Climate International welcomes the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would place a steadily rising fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels and return revenue from the fee to households. 

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, introduced by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), offers an effective market-based approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions known as carbon fee and dividend. In addition to speeding up the transition to clean energy, the bill would also protect American businesses from unfair competition with imports from countries that do not have an equivalent price on carbon, applying what is known as a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).

“At CCI, we consider this the gold standard for carbon pricing and the best way to quickly phase out fossil fuels,” said Joe Robertson, executive director of Citizens’ Climate International. “This legislation can be a model for other countries to price carbon. By giving the proceeds to households, polluters will bear the cost for their harmful activities, not people.”

Carbon pricing policies that return proceeds to households have been enacted or are under consideration in Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, CCI’s sister organisation that supports climate advocates in the U.S., noted in a press release that “a carbon price neatly complements the Inflation Reduction Act. Experts from the Rhodium Group point out, ‘A carbon price can amplify the impact of clean energy incentives.’ A policy like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act will essentially supercharge the effect of the IRA’s subsidies, encouraging corporate polluters to opt for low-carbon alternatives even faster.” 

In a press release this week, Rep. Carbajal said, “We do not have the luxury of time when it comes to getting to carbon neutral. We need to give big corporations a real, unequivocal incentive to shrink their carbon footprint. We need to put a fee on carbon…..With this legislation, not only do we require fossil fuel companies to phase out dirty fossil fuels. We also put money directly into communities that can then use that money to invest in our local economies, create jobs – especially jobs in clean energy sectors, which will be in higher demand. And in the end, we save lives from lowering our emissions curve, cleaning up our air, and keeping us on track to carbon neutrality by 2050.”

End of press release.

The bill was also introduced by Rep. Peters who said ..“Last Congress, we devoted historic investments to develop and deploy clean energy infrastructure through the IRA and IIJA. Now, we need carbon pricing to lower the cost of clean technologies and to incentivise the entire economy to reduce its emissions. Our bill puts us on path to a low carbon future and ensures a just and equitable transition by returning revenues to the American people.”

Hopefully this will be a turning point in America as more people realise the value of a tax on carbon alongside the regulation and subsidy approach of the IRA.