The Carbon Cash-Back Solution
When pollution is free we get too much of it. We can put a price on climate pollution at the source (coal mine, oil and gas well head, or port of entry) to reduce it efficiently, and rebate all the money collected (net) to all households equally to compensate each of us for the damages and costs of that pollution. This cash-back dividend will also protect household purchasing power. This is the most cost-effective and fair way to address the main cause of climate change.
Over 3,500 US economists agree the cheapest and fairest way to reduce climate pollution is:
1) Put a price on carbon emissions at the source,
2) Rebate all the money collected to all households equally, and
3) Add the carbon price to imports and remove it from exports in trade with countries that allow free pollution.
This video explains why charging fossil fuel producers and importers a carbon fee is an efficient and comprehensive way to reduce climate pollution. But it ends with a good question: "Who's willing to stomach the cost?"
Not us! We can protect household budgets when we fix the failure of the market to account for the costs of using fossil fuels with the carbon cash-back approach.
The Carbon Cash-Back solution is our best first step to reduce the main cause of climate change.
Putting a price on carbon emissions from fossil fuels is the most cost-effective way to reduce climate pollution. We can do it by charging fossil fuel producers a steadily increasing fee based on the carbon in their products (coal, oil, and natural gas).
The fairest thing to do with the money collected is to give all of it to all households equally - to compensate people for the harms being done to them by the pollution. This cash-back dividend also protects household budgets from the temporarily higher energy prices.
This cash-back solution is also known as Carbon Fee and Dividend.
Most families will receive more money in their monthly cash-back dividend than they will pay in higher prices. Low-income households will come out the farthest ahead.
See how your family does with the Carbon Dividend Calculator.
Border carbon adjustments will protect US jobs and businesses, and strongly incentivize other countries to match our carbon price. That will drive global emissions down as we need for our own safety.
Independent studies have found many additional co-benefits from this solution.
Who says put a cash-back price on carbon?
Nearly everyone who's looked into it.
We get the best solutions when both parties work together to address our biggest challenges.
Border carbon adjustments give this climate solution a global reach.
Who Has Already Put a Price on Carbon?
Forty-six countries are already pricing carbon, including Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and China. The rest of the world is not waiting for us.
A few countries will soon claim the lead in producing the clean energy solutions that will be used in the global transition to a clean energy economy in the next few decades. Those with meaningful carbon prices are the most likely to become the global energy solution providers of the 21st century.
See the World Bank's 2020 State and Trends of Carbon Pricing report for the rate of adoption and carbon pricing details:
Figure 2.2 - Share of global emissions covered by carbon pricing initiatives (ETS and carbon tax)
Figure 2.4 - Carbon price and emissions coverage of implemented carbon pricing initiatives
Many groups across the US are calling for carbon pricing
We know the right carbon price: $100/tCO2 by 2030
"For a 2050 net-zero CO2 emission target, prices are US$34 to US$64 per metric ton in 2025 and US$77 to US$124 in 2030. These results are most influenced by assumptions about complementary policies and oil prices."
These prices are achievable when we rebate all the money collected back to households on an equal basis each month.
We also know other complimentary policies are needed.
We have no time to waste for our climate - or for our economic future
Maine can become a clean energy supplier to the world and more competitive overall... if we get started right now!
See the En-ROADS climate policy modeling tool from MIT and Climate Interactive to compare the relative effectiveness of different policy options and identify complementary and redundant policies. Carbon pricing is our most powerful emissions reduction tool.
The Maine Resolution to Take Action on Climate Pollution
We the town of TOWNNAME hereby call upon our State and Federal elected representatives to enact carbon-pricing legislation to protect Maine from the costs and environmental risks of continued climate inaction. To protect households, we support a Carbon Fee and Dividend approach that charges fossil fuel producers for their carbon pollution and rebates the money collected to all residents on an equal basis. Enacting a Carbon Cash-Back program decreases long-term fossil-fuel dependence, aids in the economic transition for energy consumers, and keeps local energy dollars in Maine's economy. Carbon Cash-Back has been championed by US economists (Jan 17, 2019 WSJ) as the most effective and fair way to deliver rapid reductions in harmful carbon emissions at the scale required for our safety.
We expect our representatives to lead in this critical moment for the health and well-being of our citizens and for the protection of Maine's natural resources upon which we all rely.
The record of the vote approving this article shall be transmitted by written notice to TOWNNAME State Legislators, to the Governor of Maine, to TOWNNAME Congressional Delegation, and to the President of the United States, informing them of the instructions from their constituents, by TOWNNAME Select Board, within 30 days of this vote.