June 21, 2017

A revenue neutral carbon tax helps face climate change, inequality, structural unemployment (UBI) and promotes growth

Sir, Ed Crooks reports that “Eleven leading international companies… have joined a campaign backing a revenue-neutral carbon tax in the US, as a way of tackling the threat of climate change that “embodies the conservative principles of free markets and limited government”. “GM and Total among 11 multinationals to support US carbon tax campaign” June 21. 

And yesterday, George P. Shultz and Lawrence Summers also signed up completely on the idea. “The inevitable climate solution” Washington Post, June 20.

Indeed, as I have written to you many times before, a carbon tax which revenues are equally redistributed to all, “carbon dividends”, is the way of how to align the market signal that helps face the current environmental challenges, with the current concerns about inequality and lack of sustainable economic growth.

It also constitutes a fiscally sound way to begin funding the universal basic income the society so urgently needs in order to face growing structural unemployment, before social cohesion breaks down, as then it might be too late.

It follows the same principles as what I proposed in May 2016, in order to combat pollution in Mexico City, and that you surprisingly yet very kindly published.

So Sir, forget the Paris Climate Agreement lamentations, at least for a while. The Climate Leadership's Council proposed carbon dividends proposal carries a lot more green, social and economic punch.

Please, even if this could make Trump to become a greater green hero than Al Gore, swallow it, for the best of our young. If Washington Post seems to be able to do so, you could too. 

PS. A decade ago I protested the trading of carbon credits as being just indulgences issued in order to keep on committing environmental sins. But carbon-tax-dividends, is that not something like democratic climate change indulgences, applied to and shared by all?