Given that lower income citizens are far less responsible for the negative impacts of fossil fuels on the climate and far more impacted by the effects of climate change, it’s particularly important to view any climate change solutions through a social and environmental justice lens.
Fortunately, an alternative to the regressive carbon tax solution is readily available.
“While it is true that most carbon taxes are regressive, there is one carbon pricing policy that is actually anti-regressive and helps lower income people the most. It’s called Fee and Dividend and it is quite simple: A fee is collected from fossil fuel companies at the point where fossil fuels enter the domestic market — at the mine, well or port of entry. The fee starts small — about $15 per ton of carbon dioxide embedded in the fuel – and goes up $10 every year.”
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