Benefits of Carbon
Studies on the effects and benefits of the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy have been done by several independent organizations. All project rapid climate pollution reductions and many co-benefits for our health, low- and middle-income family budgets, and jobs.
The benefits include:
US carbon emission reductions of 40% in twelve years and 90% in thirty years.
Two-thirds of all families will receive more cash back than the total they pay in higher prices, especially the low- and middle-income families.
2.1 million jobs created (net) in ten years.
295,000 lives saved in the first ten years from rapid reductions in air pollution, including a 95% reduction in mercury and SOx emissions.
Global reach. Carbon pricing with border adjustments protects US jobs and reduces emissions across national borders.
This study of the impacts of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act on various demographic groups found that direct economic gains are concentrated among those considered most vulnerable within our society: those with lower incomes, the youngest and oldest, and minorities.
Two-thirds of all Americans come out ahead (the carbon dividend exceeds the increased costs of goods and services)
The poorest households benefit the most - not through means-testing, but simply because anyone with a smaller than average carbon footprint comes out ahead.
Residing in an urban, suburban, or rural community has very little impact on how well a household does under this policy
The highly progressive effect comes from charging fossil fuel producers for their climate pollution and returning the proceeds to everyone on an equal basis. This bipartisan approach is not a social policy of income redistribution, it simply creates a more efficient energy market and compensates people equally for damages from climate pollution.
See the Household Impact Study Summary for details.
This 20-year study on the results of the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy found it creates jobs, grows the economy, saves lives, and makes Americans richer. It does so while efficiently reducing CO2 emissions by over 50% in twenty years.
Some of the benefits identified in the first ten years for the USA:
33% carbon emissions reductions and dropping rapidly
2.1 million jobs created (net)
90,000 premature deaths prevented from reduced pollution
$1000 average annual personal income gain (for the New England region)
This study compares varies revenue recycling options and concludes a full 100% rebate of all the money collected (minus administration costs) is the most beneficial to families, particularly those on the lower side of the income scale. While it finds a corporate tax swap would be the most economically efficient, the difference between that and a household rebate is negligible, and the regressivity of a corporate tax swap would be significant. In the case of a household rebate, the bottom 10% of families by income would get 8.9% more spending money from a per-capita equally rebated $49 per ton of CO2 emissions fee on fossil fuels.
This study finds Carbon Fee and Dividend would lift 1.6 million Americans out of poverty by 2030:
"If all countries adopt the necessary uniform global carbon tax and then return the revenues to their citizens on an equal per capita basis, it will be possible to meet a 2 °C target while also increasing wellbeing, reducing inequality and alleviating poverty. These results indicate that it is possible for a society to implement strong climate action without compromising goals for equity and development."
The full report is available here.
The greenhouse gas pollution-reducing power of cash-back carbon pricing can be seen in the expected results.
This graph provides a comparison of the expected emissions reduction results and the required emission reduction targets of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) compared with the reductions needed to achieve the IPCC's goals.
Dashed blue line - the estimated emissions reductions based on extending the HR763 carbon price around the world. A global carbon price is expected to develop in response to the border carbon adjustments.
Green circles - the annual emissions reduction targets specified in EICDA. If an emissions reduction target is not met, that year's annual carbon fee increase will be $15 (inflation-adjusted) rather than the minimum $10 per ton of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. After the first years, the EPA will be required by Congress to put regulations in place to meet targets if they are not being met. This fail-safe is not expected to be needed, but addresses the current problems that the Clean Power Plan ran into that have tied regulation of greenhouse gas emissions up in courts.
Source: CCL analysis.