The European Citizens’ Initiative for the Climate Income: Let’s go for the big final push.
We have great news to share. The deadline of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) for Climate Income was extended to May 6, 2021. At this pivotal moment in time, it is a good opportunity to show our politicians the public support for this effective and socially just solution.
Citizens’ Climate Europe’s story begins in early 2019, with a small band of merry carbon pricing enthusiasts who wanted to help the European Union ramp up its carbon price by enacting a Climate Income policy. As our first project, to get the conversation going in the European Parliament, we launched the ECI petition.
Why Climate Income?
We are in a climate emergency, and we need to listen to the experts and work together. Climate scientists and economists, among which 28 Nobel Prize laureates agree: putting a price on carbon pollution and distributing the proceeds back to the people is a fast, fair and effective solution to climate change.
Since May 2019
Since Citizens’ Climate Europe first launched our petition, much has happened. We started new chapters in 11 more European countries, including France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Ireland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Switzerland, and Romania. Also, we activated a total of 21 new chapters across Europe, adding chapters to Germany, Sweden and the UK. To date, we have received almost 25 000 signatures on our ECI petition. In the past 17 months we have lobbied 70 Members of European Parliament (MEPs), found support for the Climate Income policy and were asked to present our solution to groups of MEPs. Though we are spread all over Europe tackling the climate crisis during COVID and thus online, we have become a closely collaborating team.
In 2021, several elements seem to be coming together, giving new momentum for an ambitious and socially just solution such as the Climate Income. Conversations are rapidly changing. We are no longer discussing the need to act but how to act.
Fridays For Future activists around the world are demanding every Friday that we all face the climate emergency by listening to the experts and working together to solve the ecological crisis threatening everyone’s future. The Black Lives Matter and associated social justice movements elevated the need to create a just transition away from fossil fuels and build back better from COVID in a way that works for everyone.
Green Deal and CBAMs
In 2019, a new European Commission was instated that set into motion the Green Deal and announced that they would be enacting a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) by January 2023. CBAM will push other countries to price carbon pollution too. CBAMs will also protect jobs and industry from loopholes or ‘carbon leaks’ which will allow for ramping up the carbon price while protecting the industry.
New US Administration
Last November Joe Biden was elected as president of the US; his choice to bring the US back into the Paris agreement and high-ranking appointments including John Kerry as presidential envoy for Climate and carbon pricing proponent Janet Yellen as finance secretary, shows that he takes the climate crisis seriously. It seems more likely than ever that the US bill on Climate Income, the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act” will be implemented in this legislature.
Canada already introduced the Climate Income in 2019. Their Climate Income policy survived a national election in October 2019. Now the government is planning to ramp up the carbon from $50 CDN per tonne in 2022 incrementally at a rate of $15 CDN per tonne per year up to 2030 when it will be $170 CDN per tonne. This price ambition is in line with the Paris goals and shows that public support for such high pricing is essential. Pricing is key to BCAs and hence wider international cooperation to solve the climate crisis.
Coalition of the Willing
If the EU can also be persuaded to introduce the Climate Income, a “coalition of the willing” could be formed that encompasses more than one-third of the world’s economy. It would constitute a huge lever for change and an encouraging example for other countries to introduce a similar climate policy.
Please sign and share
Therefore, if you are an EU citizen, please help fight both climate change and injustice by taking 30 seconds to sign the petition and support us to make this urgent, fair, and important policy part of the European Commission’s agenda.
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