The success of an hypothecated tax will depend largely on the ability of policy-makers to recognise past mistakes, adopt a low tax that voters can accept, convincingly hypothecate the tax revenues and equally convincingly support and permit innovative institutions to manage that investment effectively.
To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity and political pragmatism is not just noble and necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness — which has failed. Securing access to low-cost energy for all, including the very poor, is truly and literally liberating. Building resilience to surprise and to extremes of weather is a practical expression of true global solidarity. Improving the quality of the air that people breathe is an undeniable public good. Significant public investment in direct decarbonisation of the global energy system is the most ambitious goal but is, in our view, only likely to be attained by an indirect approach.
This paper outlines a practical framing that might really work. This is how we believe that the crisis of 2009 should not be wasted. We write this paper as a first, not as a last word on the radical reframing that we advocate.
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