Carbon Dividends

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James Boyce:

""The fourth arena is carbon dividends. These recycle the extra money that consumers pay for fossil fuels as a result of carbon pricing as equal dividends to every person in the country or state implementing the policy. The government of Canada recently announced that it will introduce carbon dividends in provinces, including Ontario, that do not already have a carbon price. Carbon dividends are an example of universal income from universal property – the concept I mentioned earlier – the property in this case being the limited capacity of the biosphere to absorb carbon emissions. People pay based on their use of the scarce resource – the rich, who typically have the biggest carbon footprints because they consume more, pay more than others – and everyone receives an equal dividend based on common ownership. With a carbon price-and-dividend policy, the majority of people, including low-income households and the middle class, would come out ahead monetarily, without even counting the benefits of curbing climate change. Their dividends would more than offset what they pay in higher fossil fuel prices, helping to ensure durable public support for the policy." (