Last year the Climate Leadership Council (CLC), a centrist-to-conservative group boasting such Republican heavy-weights as former Secretary’s of State James Baker and George Shultz, put forward an ambitious plan to reduce carbon pollution utilizing a market-based approach. Their “carbon dividend” — a carbon tax whose revenue is returned in its entirety to the citizenry via a monthly rebate or dividend — would far exceed our emissions reduction target we pledged to achieve in the Paris climate accord.
We are proud to be one of the CLC’s partner organizations, and to spread the word about some terrific polling results they just released, along with a new analysis of their plan, known as the Baker-Shultz plan.
There’s lot’s of good news in the polling. For example, over 80% of those polled, and 65% of Republicans, say climate action is needed. In addition, there was strong support for the Baker-Shultz plan, including 55% of Republicans. Finally, 64% said the issue of a carbon tax mattered to the personally, and 51% said support for a carbon tax would influence who they voted for. The latter is particularly important to encourage action by elected officials. Serious action will only occur once politicians feel doing something will help them and not hurt them.
The new analysis of the CLC plan was done by Resources for the Future (RFF), a group of hard-nosed economists who have historically been quite conservative when analyzing climate and clean energy plans. RFF’s analysis shows that Baker-Shultz would reduce carbon pollution 34-36% below 2005 levels by 2025, and 41-47% by 2035. In comparison, the Paris target for the US is 18% reduction by 2025 — meaning the CLC plan would achieve double what our Paris target is in 2025.
Good news indeed!