Should there be a cost for emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? At present, no one pays for the impacts of such emissions, so the emissions (and impacts) keep coming. In economic parlance, it’s called an “externality.” What if it costs us every time we put CO2 into the atmosphere? Might we use less? Economists say that we would.
That’s the purpose of putting a price on carbon emissions—to slow our use of fossil fuels. The notion of another tax is not popular. But what if the money collected was given back to us? That's the idea of a "fee and dividend" approach to pricing carbon. Would we find ways to reduce our emissions? Would we buy products that use less fossil fuel because they cost less?
Remarkably, both Democrats and Republicans have shown support for a fee-and-dividend program, a rare alignment on one of the most politically divisive issues of our time—climate change.
Join us for a discussion of how a fee-and-dividend program might work. How would we make sure the fee doesn’t disproportionately impact those who can least afford it? How would we figure out the right price for a ton of carbon? And if we had a fee-and-dividend program in the U.S., would it get us to our “destination” in time—a net-zero emissions world.
What’s your position on the fee-and-dividend idea? Not sure? Become informed with us on July 23.