“Carbon should not flow unpriced into the atmosphere any more than you should be allowed to toss your garbage into the street!” This was Nigel Deakin’s headline quote as he explained that we are potentially on the cusp of a new, challenging but just and fair plan to tackle one major aspect of climate change.
“Between 1970 and 2019 the use of coal in the UK shrank from 156 million tons to 0.9 million.” With facts such as this Nigel urged Friday’s lunchtime zoom audience to recognise past success and join the increasing public effort to address the issue in the UK.
It is widely recognised that a tax on carbon is needed for us to reduce carbon emissions to acceptable levels. However, where carbon taxes have been introduced by governments, they have not proved popular with voters, even to the extent that rioting has ensued as in the France (the Yellow Vest protests) and Ecuador, as a result.
Nigel explained that many top scientists and economists across the world are currently promoting the idea of a tax on carbon matched by a dividend that would flow back into the economic cycle of each country participating in the scheme. Carbon would be taxed at source and the money raised paid back as a monthly dividend to all citizens equally. The vast majority of people would receive more from the dividend than they would have to pay through increased fuel prices due to the tax, with the least well-off (lowest carbon users) benefitting the most.
On the introduction of the carbon tax, fuel prices would increase with the knock-on effect of a more rapid transfer to the use of sustainable energy and low carbon sources.
The world is now watching Canada and Switzerland to see how these countries fare as they introduce the scheme so that everyone becomes aware that it is transparently a more just economic system for all.
As Nigel rounded off his talk, audience members joined in a lively Q&A session highlighting the need to avoid the scheme becoming a party-political football, looking to the strongest economies such as China to take a lead, and clarifying the need for a trade balance across the world with no tariffs between countries participating in the scheme.
This excellent talk concluded with everyone looking forward more positively to the Global Climate Change Conference to be hosted by the UK next year. Many thanks from us all to our Speaker.
For further insights please visit Citizens Climate Lobby UK. Here’s the link: https://citizensclimatelobby.uk/carbon-fee-dividend/climate-income/