First, the proposal draws on free-market principles that Republicans,
businesses and others have long endorsed. Specifically, it calls for a
gradually rising price on carbon emissions. Starting at $40 per ton, the
plan would do more to reduce emissions from the electric power sector
than the clean power regulation published by EPA in 2015.
the plan includes carbon dividend payments to all Americans. This
dividend approach has garnered broad support in public opinion polls and
can assure that the pricing plan does not have harsh impacts on
Although The Nature Conservancy believes
that putting an economy-wide price on greenhouse gas emissions is the
best policy to protect our climate, we will continue to press for action
with other tools. We have a long history of bringing diverse groups
together to find pragmatic, common-ground solutions to big challenges.
Today, that work includes broadening the dialogue around climate policy
Here in the U.S., all 50 of our state chapters are
advancing practical climate strategies that range from supporting
working farmers to boost crop yields while reducing their carbon
footprint to advancing clean energy legislation that finances private
solar installations and broadens consumer choice. And we continue to
support the existing cap and trade programs in California and the
The headlines on climate change may say we’re
hopelessly divided, but look a little deeper and you’ll find a different
story. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support for the Paris
Agreement from states, cities and corporations all around the world.
More than 175 governments covering 30 percent of the global economy have
pledged to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Here in the U.S., 13
states have formed an alliance announcing that they will enact policies
to meet our Paris pledge within their borders.
The CLC’s plan
can help stimulate much needed conversations centered on climate
solutions. We recognize there are still important details to be worked
out—especially those related to integrating a new price and dividend
program with existing climate policies and regulations. For instance, in
the near-term, existing regulations reducing carbon emissions from cars
and trucks gets greater benefits than would occur under a modest carbon
price alone. We need to keep what works.
If you have been paying
close attention to developments since the U.S. announced its decision
to withdraw from Paris, you would be right to conclude that support for
climate action is accelerating. It’s great to have prominent
conservatives and top businesses publicly calling for a price on carbon.
We welcome their voices to the growing team of leaders working for
robust policies that are good for our climate, our communities, and our
Read The Nature Conservancy’s statement on the Climate Leadership Council here.
To read more insights related to Climate Policy, click here.