Climate change is not political. Everyone will be (or already is) affected regardless of status, ethnicity, nationality, religion or wealth. And climate change Is now and accelerating. We have abundant proof of the reality and negative impacts of climate change. We can no longer afford the delay of political arguments, but what should we do?
Can we lower fossil fuel use while maintaining GDP growth and lower personal income taxes at the same time? In fact, we can — by putting a price on carbon emissions.
Put the Market to Work
The U.S. and much of the world is driven by markets. Putting a price on carbon emissions will drive fossil fuel use down. Attempts since the Kyoto protocol using Energy Trading Schemes (like cap and trade) have had mixed results. The best results seem to be from a direct tax on fossil fuel use.
Look at British Columbia
British Columbia, Canada tried a tax on carbon emissions and has seen some significant benefits in just 6 years. The province put a direct tax of $10/tonne on CO2e in 2008, which increased to $30/tonne in 2012. The revenue generated was returned to the population in tax benefits. The revenue is now on the order of $1 billion/year. The results are:
- B.C. now has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada
- Fuel use has dropped by 16% in B.C., while it increased by 3% in the rest of Canada
- B.C.’s GDP has slightly outperformed the rest of Canada since 2008
Build a Unified Voice
Our democratic system will not move toward a price on carbon until the majority constituents of our elected leaders call for it. There are many organizations working toward a carbon tax or other methods of a price. Together we can build a strong voice to sway our political leaders to act. Add your voice to the call! Join our coalition!