CCL UK members have recently succeeded in making a splash in the Guardian, several years after our last successes.
Joe Grimm responded to the article titled: Five years on, the world is failing to learn the gilets jaunes’ lesson about class and climate which reiterated the dangers of climate policies which place the greatest burden on those least able to pay.
Oliver Haynes’ excellent analysis (Five years on, the world is failing to learn the gilets jaunes’ lesson about class and climate, 17 November) missed an opportunity to propose a practical solution. Four provinces of Canada have been using a form of climate income (AKA carbon fee and dividend), where a fee is levied on carbon fuel extraction or importation, and the revenue gets redistributed to citizens via a dividend in order to cope with rising prices. Switzerland has a carbon tax and it redistributes most of the revenue to citizens. Austria has the Klimabonus doing the same. Democrats in the US Congress introduced bills, but of course there was no support from the opposing party.
The UK and EU are locked into emission trading schemes that do not support citizens as fuel prices rise. Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Citizens’ Climate International are promoting the carbon fee and income redistribution model, but it’s an uphill battle. The government could support us better by implementing examples that have been shown to work in other countries.
CCL UK Co-Founder Judy Hindley responded to articles on the Climate Inequality report (CCL discussion here) and middle class habits which advocated further taxation of those best able to pay but without the incentives to decarbonise that Climate Income offers.
Re your special series, The great carbon divide, on inequality and the climate last week and the article by Damian Carrington (Restaurants, pets and holidays: how UK’s well-off have outsize carbon footprints, 20 November), the immense cost of climate change to those least responsible is one of the most appalling developments we now confront. Yet, there is an answer. It’s nearly 10 years since Jonathan Porritt, in his book The World We Made, first called for the kind of carbon tax (now known more generally as climate income) that’s been implemented in four provinces of Canada.*It’s basically a predictably rising price on all fossil fuels, with the funds rebated to citizens.
The policy is redistributive, costs the government nothing and, unlike a one-off windfall tax, holds the promise of gradually pricing fossil fuels entirely out of the market. Meanwhile, it rewards alternative energy use and gives incentives to every kind of “green” innovation, initiative or behaviour.
Studies show that this policy on its own could be a giant step to net zero, cutting pollution and climate costs, and paid for by fossil fuel companies themselves.
It is great to see our members disproving the assumption that carbon pricing means robbing the poor to pay the rich!