Why Carbon Fee and Dividend?

The case for climate solutions

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, our burning of fossil fuels has steadily increased the carbon dioxide context of Earth’s atmosphere. For many decades, we enjoyed the benefits of such fuels without realizing that the increased atmospheric carbon was trapping heat and hastening global climate change.

Today, we understand that climate change carries potentially catastrophic health, environmental, and economic costs. Nevertheless, in most places there is no financial penalty for adding to the carbon pollution that drives climate change. As long as carbon pollution remains free, the true costs of fossil fuels will be hidden, and may appear cheaper than low-carbon alternatives even as they put long-term health and economic prosperity at risk.

Reduce emissions and grow the economy

CCL’s preferred climate solution is known as Carbon Fee and Dividend. A national, revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend system (CF&D) would place a predictable, steadily-rising price on carbon and other greenhouse gases, with all fees collected minus administrative costs being returned to households as a monthly energy dividend. In just 20 years, studies show, such a system could reduce carbon emissions to 50% of 1990 levels while adding 2.1 million jobs about baseline to the American economy.

carbon dioxide emissions carbon fee and dividend

The blue line represents emissions with business as usual. The gold line represents the projected reduction in emissions with Carbon Fee and Dividend.

How does it work?

Educating citizens about the benefits of the CF&D climate solutions, and empowering them to build the social and political will for the climate solutions we need, form the core of CCL’s approach.