Institute For Local Self-Reliance: Addressing Climate Change Through Carbon Caps With Universal Dividends
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2008
CONTACT: Institute For Local Self-Reliance
Addressing Climate Change Through Carbon Caps With Universal Dividends
Carbon Caps with Universal Dividends Create An Ethical, Equitable and
Politically Effective Climate Policy
Minneapolis, MN - February 12 - Common to many proposals
addressing climate change is a carbon cap - limiting and lowering global
warming emissions over time. A cap will generate a market value for
carbon allowances (permits) that could conservatively be $50 billion to
$200 billion per year at the national level. A key issue is who will
receive this value.
All or most of this money should be given back to consumers in the form
of a per capita dividend or rebate, argues a new policy brief by the
Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). "The sky belongs to all of
us and we should all share equally in the new value that's created by a
carbon cap," said ILSR senior researcher, John Bailey.
A cap on carbon will raise the price of energy and energy intensive
goods and services. A universal dividend will help all households absorb
and manage those cost increases. In particular, low and middle-income
households, on average, should receive back more in dividends than they
pay in higher prices for fuels and products.
"Using universal dividends can help hold tens of millions of households
harmless while we make the transition to a low-carbon economy under a
carbon cap," according to Bailey. The idea of using universal
dividends should be a key component of the carbon cap discussions going
on in Congress and in various states, including Minnesota.
From a political perspective, universal dividends are critical. A
major stumbling block to enactment of a carbon cap will be higher prices
and that could fuel widespread resistance to what will be described as a
major new and regressive energy tax. A per capita dividend overcomes
this and will provide the time needed for energy saving technologies and
low carbon fuels to expand in the marketplace.
The full report, Carbon Caps With Universal Dividends: Equitable,
Ethical & Politically Effective Climate Policy, can be viewed online at
For more information, or to arrange an interview with John Bailey,
please contact Brooke Gullikson.
About ILSR: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a nonprofit
organization founded in 1974 to advance sustainable, equitable, and
community-centered economic development through research and educational
activities and technical assistance. More at http://www.ilsr.org.