The barriers to a policy on carbon fees and dividends


Henry D. Jacoby provides a brilliant overview of the advantages of a carbon fee and dividend (or environment revenue) in his article (There’s an easy way to green the economy – and it includes cash prizes for everyone, Jan. 5), and why there are some psychological obstacles to its wider acceptance.

Since 2007, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been an international umbrella environmental organization that has urged politicians to consider introducing carbon fees and dividends (CF&D). In Canada and Switzerland, CF&D has been adopted, although the latter actually does not tax energy fuels although working towards creating more renewable energy systems.

Last year, Canadians were able to replace their implementer, Justin Trudeau, and jettison the program. Didn’t they. In its latest carbon pricing study, our government accepted the merits of the levy, but there is a psychological barrier, as Jacoby notes: the Treasury Department doesn’t like promised taxes or dividends. We are working hard on changing their minds at Citizens’ Climate Lobby UK.

Catherine DawsonCitizens’ Climate Lobby UK- Henry D. Jacoby makes a good case for a carbon tax as an important mechanism for weaning our economies off fossil fuels. Take a look at our website and consider helping us.

But that means that, in order to be taxed, oil will continue to flow – and when, as it does, the flow inevitably ceases, so does the tax. The weakness in his claim is the tacit presumption that, within a continuing market economy, the climate crisis can be solved by simply converting to renewable energy more rapidly (but not completely).

If our species (and the rest of the biosphere) are to be defeated by this existential danger, we can not continue in an environment where “most personal and business decisions are driven by price.”

In reality, even in today’s society, I dispute that assertion. I further dispute that no one really wants to pay taxes.

My revenue as a retiree is far below the median. Nevertheless, by doing so, I gladly agree that I contribute to all the collective things that make life more than mere existence for all my fellow citizens as well as for me.

I am confident that in this, I am not alone. Those expenses, for example on nuclear weapons, are, of course, another matter, but that does not detract from the idea.


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