THEREFOREWe endorse carbon pricing as an essential solution to climate change. A price on carbon creates an economy-wide incentive to reduce greenhouse gases that can, if revenues are used wisely, benefit low-income households while stimulating job growth. By making carbon-intensive industries pay a fair share of the costs of their pollution, people will have cleaner air, healthier communities, and prevent the most devastating effects of climate change.
In order to be grounded in science and justice, we believe that an effective carbon price policy should have the following elements:
1. Be strong and grow over time. The price per ton of pollution must be high enough to drive emission reductions to the level scientists deem necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The price must rise predictably over time to enable consumers, investors and businesses to adapt to the higher cost of fossil fuels.
2. Cast a wide net. All greenhouse gases should be included in the price, not just carbon dioxide. All sectors of the economy possible should be subject to the price in order to avoid market distortion and policy failure.
3. Be just and equitable. Carbon pricing policy should incorporate measures to protect people most vulnerable to short term rising fossil fuel prices, especially low-income households.
4. Enforce a durable price. In order for any policy to be effective, the price signal must steady and beyond the influence of special interests.
It is time for the United States to lead on this defining issue of our time, and protect the health and well-being of current and future generations.