Researchers led By Georgia State economist find a global tax on carbon may be feasible

From EurekAlert!

Georgia State University

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Caption Stefano Carattini, assistant professor in Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Credit Georgia State University

ATLANTA–There is a consistently high level of public support across nations for a global carbon tax if the tax policy is carefully designed, according to a survey of people in the United States, India, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.

The research was published in Nature.

“Imposing a cost on carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said economist and lead author Stefano Carattini, an assistant professor in Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. “Our research shows that a system of harmonized carbon taxes, in which countries agree on the tax rate but maintain control over tax revenues, would be the easiest way to achieve a global carbon price.”

In the survey, 5,000 respondents from the five countries were asked their opinions on different carbon tax designs and whether they would support a carbon tax to be implemented in their country in 2020, if this was also done in all other countries.

The majority of the respondents–from 60 percent in the United States to above 80 percent in India–supported carbon taxes in scenarios where revenues are given back to people or spent on climate projects.

“The high level of public support suggests a major rethinking of how we approach carbon taxes and international cooperation,” said co-author Steffen Kallbekken, research director at the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway.

Carattini, Kallbekken and co-author Anton Orlov, a senior researcher at CICERO, simulated the effects of the carbon tax in an economic model to capture the economic and environmental effects of a global carbon tax, simulating different levels of tax rates and uses of revenues. They found a worldwide carbon tax would not disrupt the global economy.

“Our economic simulations show the economic impact would be modest in countries with a clean energy supply, but greater in countries that rely on fossil fuels, especially coal,” said Carattini. “We found this impact true even without taking into account the large benefits from avoided climate damages.”

The most feasible option would be a global system of harmonized carbon taxes because countries do not have to agree on the use of the revenues and can choose the option that is most appropriate domestically, the study found.

“Understanding peoples’ tax preferences is essential for designing policies to set a global carbon price. Knowing this, researchers should continue to evaluate the best use of revenues and ways to distribute them,” said Kallbekken.

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75 thoughts on “Researchers led By Georgia State economist find a global tax on carbon may be feasible

  1. “There is a consistently high level of public support across nations for a global carbon tax if the tax policy is carefully designed, according to a survey of people in the United States, India, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.”

    There sure as hell won’t be any support for any tax once they get the bill through higher inflation for everything from soup to nuts. A carbon tax is the absolute worst form of any taxation ever designed because it is a soul killer of making everything more expensive with absolutely zero benifit to the citizens. Except for socialist Marxist politicians who think they can pull the wool over everybody’s eyes, by having an enormous election slush fund available to bribe the local populace for their re-election.

    Just look at France and the Yellow Jackets 🐝 there as mad as hornets. Canada is next with its stupid carbon tax rollout. And you think the Americans are going to accept a carbon tax when all they have to do is elect Donald Trump again as President. And I thought Austrailia just cancelled its Carbon Tax, so where is this public support coming from?

    I suspect the University of Georgia polled Greenpeace or some other leftist environmentalist organization. Nobody is in favor of another tax, period.

    • Did they survey people in France? How about the people in Washington State who voted down a carbon tax in November?

  2. “There is a consistently high level of public support across nations for a global carbon tax ” ?
    What planet do these idjits live on ?

    • Yes, please let us all know where these twits live. They must have a loose grip on reality, or else they don’t pay for anything themselves, unlike the rest of us.

    • They are portraying the tax as being one where those who don’t use a lot of energy, will actually get more from the government then they pay in taxes.
      So of course the low information voters will support it. They believe that it is a tax that will end up transferring other people’s money, to them.

  3. “supported carbon taxes in scenarios where revenues are given back to people or spent on climate projects.”

    If you ask respondents if they support taxing someone else and giving some of it to you, what kind of answer do you expect?

    The average respondents don’t get that that cost is passed on to them AND that the government is sucking off the bulk of the money.

    • “They found a worldwide carbon tax would not disrupt the global economy.”

      A carbon tax would have no effects at all unless it DID impact carbon fuel users, Duh. It has to.

      And a carbon tax is terribly regressive, impacting the lower income and poor the most, while also increasing the cost of living for everything because the cost of manufacturing and transportation HAS to go up.

      Either these economists are horribly stupid or they know a carbon tax HAS TO HURT and want to fool people into thinking it won’t.

      An all those governments would just love to have a new revenue stream to play with, which means getting rid of a carbon tax once they learn that CO2 does NOT drive the climate would be almost impossible.

      • “They found a worldwide carbon tax would not disrupt the global economy.”

        Neither will it have any measurable and verifiable impact on climate change.

      • “while also increasing the cost of living for everything because the cost of manufacturing and transportation HAS to go up”

        Yes, the Alarmists try to sell this CO2 tax by telling the poor they will get money from the CO2 tax but what they don’t tell the poor is that in the future after this CO2 tax is imposed, *all* of their costs to live will increase and the government won’t be compensating them for that. They get to pay all those extra costs themselves. The pittance they might receive from a CO2 tax will not make up for their extra costs.

        A CO2 tax is a ridiculous idea and claiming it won’t harm economies is delusional. The only people who benefit from a CO2 tax are the politicians who get to spend other people’s hard-earned money.

        • “A CO2 tax is a ridiculous idea and claiming it won’t harm economies is delusional. The only people who benefit from a CO2 tax are the politicians who get to spend other people’s hard-earned money.”

          I’d say that sums it up nicely.

          • It is the worst kind of inflation because it is baked into nearly the cost of everything at some level. The Carbon Tax winds up being taxed multiple times at multiple levels throughout the value chain which has the effect of compounded taxation.

            At least a VAT or GST is an end value tax, and only for consumers. Producers get some type of offset credit for any tax that they pay. This won’t be the case for the carbon tax…it will just compound and ricochet through the economy driving the price of everything up endlessly.

  4. All governments want to increase taxation. They are forever thinking up ways to make it acceptable to the general public. But the bottom line is they are only interested in increasing taxation, that way they increase their power and impoverish and weaken the people.

    • You are correct, of course, but you must keep saying it. In the modern world, the medieval “Divine Right of Kings” to rule over the peasants, has been replaced by the Divine Right of Experts. In days of yore, crowned heads, courtiers, and cronies were exempt from taxation, but they sure knew how to spend the revenues. Modern governments establish impregnable bureaucracies and regulatory agencies with salaries, pensions & perks that private sector schlubs can only dream of.

      “Sure! Make the peasants pay more for food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Why should I care? I went to Yale Law School, and I’m saving the world.”

    • And the double whammy is that they borrow even more. The problem isn’t necessarily taxing or borrowing, however. The problem is spending.

  5. Understand my tax preferences? Ok, I prefer that you don’t. But I think he means like a choice among hanging, firing squad, and beheading?

    Canadian provinces can’t agree to have carbon taxes but a global scheme is feasible?

    Or the sort version:

    EurekAlert! Say no more.

  6. No matter how many virgin maidens called Taxation you throw into the climate change volcano, the climate gods will not be satisfied.
    The best option is, not to go down that pointless and painful path.

  7. “…they would support a carbon tax to be implemented in their country in 2020, if this was also done in all other countries.”

    So how does the situation look, regarding emission cuts by all nations? “I ‘ll do it when yo do it”, is the same as deadlock, which we see time and again in the COP meetings. This is just more waste of Norwegian tax money.

  8. “The high level of public support suggests a major rethinking of how we approach carbon taxes and international cooperation”

    Well not here in Australia. No broad level support for a carbon tax, and a decided aversion to the likes of the EU, UN and Greenpeace-type NGOs pushing it.

    In fact in Australia it has probably caused the defeat of one federal government, and the removal of the Conservative party leader twice, once as leader in opposition, and more recently as prime Minister.

    Havent seen their article yet, but I would be very interested how they selected the survey respondents.

  9. “Imposing a cost on carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said economist and lead author Stefano Carattini, an assistant professor in Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. “Our research shows that a system of harmonized carbon taxes, in which countries agree on the tax rate but maintain control over tax revenues, would be the easiest way to achieve a global carbon price.”

    Translation:

    “Let’s do something foolish. costly. destructive to society and the economy, which has NO basis in the Scientific Method and has been characterized by academic fraud and widespread political corruption.

    Oh, and let’s do it globally!

    • Fortunately, I don’t think the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are that stupid.

      It takes a very dim wit to ignore what just happened in France. Tells you something about Georgia State University students – at least those in policy studies, Kind of explains why so many Americans didn’t want a politician as president.

  10. “….The majority of the respondents–from 60 percent in the United States to above 80 percent in India–supported carbon taxes in scenarios where revenues are given back to people or spent on climate projects….”

    Aye! there’s the rub! … especially the “spent on climate projects” bit.
    cheers
    Mike

    • Climate projects likely will include a portion into the global climate adaptation fund at the UN. A novel new way to get the $100+B/yr for the UN. This is simply wealth redistribution both within and among nations. Within nations the money moves from employed singles, couples and those with fewer children to those with low-income and large families as proposed in Canada. This will either lessen or augment governments’ obligations to those already on the assistance train. Simply buying votes and increasing the welfare state. It also will go heavily into urban areas where many folks don’t own vehicles. Mass transit will receive additional dollars as part of agenda 20/30. Follow the pea!

  11. “Understanding peoples’ tax preferences is essential for designing policies to set a global carbon price.”
    I’ll make it simple so even a professor can understand. People prefer that others are taxed for their benefit, not the other way around.

  12. He may have written this before the Yellow Vest protests, but he is the type to ignore the proles anyway. Big Brother knows best.

  13. If these morons realized that the only path to carbon reduction on a grand scale is the implementation of molten salt nuclear small nuclear reactors technology, and that simple economics will bring this technology
    to every country, then they would have a solution that actually is practical. Of course, this would put these Earth Saviors out of business, so they will ignore the obvious.

    • All is right with the world. It’s been three days since kent has preached on molten salt reactors and I was beginning to go into withdrawal.

  14. In 1932, a federal tax on fuel was imposed to provide money to the Government, not to reduce consumption although I suspect it did so among lower-income people. During WWII, our fuel supply proved insufficient to meet both military needs and civilian demands so it, along with many other commodities, was rationed to ensure the military had enough. The rationing system was complex and expensive to implement and enforce but it at least largely assured (except for those who cheated) an equal availability of fuel among the people regardless of their income. Increasing the fuel tax as a means to limit civilian consumption was not discussed at that time and indeed, the tax was not increased until about 1950, again to provide more money to the Government, not to limit consumption.

    And now our experts are discussing a tax as a way to limit consumption? We have experience on this matter and, if CO2 is really the problem some assert, why not apply that experience?

    • DHR, CO2 is NOT a pollutant and IS NOT a problem. Carbon dioxide taxes are the biggest financial boondoggle in history and they won’t do anything to save anything.

      • Mr. Tomalty,

        As I said, “If CO2 is a problem…” Like you I don’t believe it is a problem, or at least not much of one. But it seems locked in our politics at this time. Many States, most Democrats, cities and so forth advance “renewables” as the solution. NY, Maryland and some localities have banned fracking. All manner of subsidies are provided for wind and solar generators that produce very expensive electricity. For example a new off-shore Virginia wind arm is guaranteed $0.75 per kw produced whereas the current local price is 1/10 that. The IPCC rumbles on with their 20,000-delegate “conferences” each year and on it goes.

        All this and more is clear evidence to me that very few people in the political realm understand the basics of global warming and the abundant evidence that it is not much of a problem, if any. Stamping your feet and shouting out that “CO2 is NOT a pollutant and IS NOT a problem” isn’t working.

        But perhaps if our political class started discussing rationing of fuel as the only way to really reduce consumption fairly (taxation being progressively unfair the less money one has), then perhaps the people will speak loudly as in France and bring some much needed attention to the realities of the issue.

  15. Question if the carbon tax was given right back to people , and therefore not affect their wealth . How would this affect their bying or using habits which this tax is intented to control in the first place ?

    • The tax is based on how much you use. The rebate is a flat amount per person or per household.
      If you use a lot of energy, you pay more tax but get a fixed amount back.
      If you use little energy, you pay less tax but get the same fixed amount back.
      This means that those who use little energy will get a refund that is more than they paid in, while those who use a lot of energy will pay more than they get back.

      This gives individuals incentive to cut back on how much they use, since their energy use has no measurable impact on the size of the check they get back.

      This is the theory, in reality government operations will initially consume about 90% of the money raised, over time increasing to 100%.

      • This is the theory, in reality government operations will initially consume about 90% of the money raised, over time increasing to 100%.
        ==========
        Reality is even worse than that. In BC the tax was supposed to be “revenue neutral”. 100% of the money collected was to be returned to the taxpayers.

        In the first year, this was true. But over time the government slowly changed the rules so that less than 50% is returned to the taxpayers.

        Most taxpayers know this from experience. Governments lie. They lie to taxpayers and they lie to themselves. The carbon tax is as much about reducing carbon as the highway tax is about building highways. The tax starts out as designed, but quickly changes into something completely different than what was intended.

        https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/examining-the-revenue-neutrality-of-british-columbias-carbon-tax?language=en

    • “Revenue neutral” means that the tax revenues are returned to the general public purchasing of votes for socialist politicians. This, combined with the built in escalator provisions on the carbon tax rate are meant to convert the U.S. into a large version of Venezuela.

  16. “Would you rather cigarettes be extinguished on your palm, or that there be a carbon tax?”

    60 to 80 percent prefer a carbon tax.

  17. This would be funny if it the story was about other stupid countries.

    It is time to stop the madness.

    Energy is sort of used to do everything.

    It is the master resource that enables use to make let say make steel, concrete, aluminium, plastics, windows, doors, plumping fittings, buildings, roads, schools, live our lives and so on.

    A super tax on energy will make everything in a country more expensive to build, use, and so on.

    • Agreed – so if the Eco-Nazis want a “carbon tax,” I say let them have one, payable ONLY by those that “believe” in human-induced climate catastrophe. Then we will get the right result – fewer who “believe” in human-induced climate catastrophe.

  18. Quote:
    “Imposing a cost on carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said economist and lead author Stefano Carattini, an assistant professor in Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
    *********
    I remain unconvinced of the notion that there is any meaningful evidence that politicians and academicians can successfully manipulate consumer choices and behavior with taxes on that which they consider vices. The idea that human behavior is malleable to any significant degree with govt taxes is instead IMHO merely a desire by the elitists to punish consumers for their consumption of these vices in the hopes that it will produce some desired result — they don’t know that it will.

    In the absence of results, the taxes are then justified with the idea that the revenue will be used for some “greater good.” Whether that “greater good” produces significant results for the betterment of society and the world is a matter for serious debate in the absence is solid evidence that it does so. If cigarette smoking is down today, it is likely due to health concerns rather than the taxes on cigarettes–but this is just my opinion.

    That no one ever asks for evidence of the existence of the desired end from accessing vice taxes must certainly be very convenient for those that support those taxes. Academicians will certainly produce “evidence” that they do if they are asked, but of course the outcome of those studies will no doubt be predetermined.

    The whole idea that vice taxes are a useful tool to mold and engineer society’s and the individual’s behavior is likely based on the leftist idea that govt is always benevolent…everything that it does is designed for the betterment of society and the individual as long as the actions are consistent with one’s ideological belief system. The goals of this arrogant way of thinking –especially with carbon taxes– is aided with the creation of “crises” as we have seen with the climate alarmist narrative over the past 30 years. Don’t bother scrutinizing or asking for the evidence that any such crisis actually exists…..the Orwellian thought criminals and religious heretics who dare to question the vice taxers probably wish at times that they never opened their mouths…

    • If they took their research to the next step, and tried to model how patterns of consumption could be expected to change based on various tax levels, and how much taxes would need to be raised to save the world, then it would become obvious that this approach — raising taxes to save the world — won’t work any better than filling the world with windmills.

      Better to find out only AFTER the tax structures are in place that the net impact is marginal.

      • Oh but wouldn’t they just cancel the tax if it doesn’t work? I mean it would be dishonest to just keep the money, right?

  19. “Imposing a cost on carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said economist and lead author Stefano Carattini
    ===========
    So why not impose a tax on poverty and thus eliminate poverty and make everyone wealthy?

    Once they are wealthy, everyone will be able to pay for electricity in place of fossil fuels, thus solving the GHG problem.

    Right now, a tax on carbon doesn’t generate any new money. It simply takes money that would be used to buy fossil fuels, resulting in energy poverty. Without new money, who is going to pay for all the new solar panels and windmills and electric cars and batteries? Governments? If they had the money they wouldn’t need a carbon tax.

  20. I cannot comment on this story because it is triggering me sumptin’ awful!
    I need my safe space and my puppy and my crayons!
    What happened to the trigger warning up front?
    Whose face do I get in and scream at the top of my lungs at, over this?
    https://youtu.be/vWz0AWtwdoA?t=50

    • They are very cheap; I found one on-line for about $5. I questioned my French resident sister how so many people had them ready to wear when the clarion call was heard. It turns out that French regulators have required every French driver to keep a yellow vest in his or her (or whatever’s) car. A good example of the regulatory state bearing the seeds of its own downfall.

  21. “…in scenarios where revenues are given back to people or spent on climate projects.”

    This will always be supported by activist groups as they anticipate government funding.
    People who think they’ll be getting a check from the government will be in favor, along with anyone with a need to save the world from global warming.
    Another natural supporting group is government itself, who generally favor higher taxes and understand that they can direct the funds as they see fit.
    The approach has UN support and blessing, because a special tax is the best way to fund climate reparations/wealth transfers.

    Robbing Peter has the support of Paul.

  22. “Imposing a cost on carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said economist and lead author Stefano Carattini.

    President Obama’s original goal of an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2050 is impossible to achieve without putting a stiff tax on all carbon fuels — one that is decidedly revenue positive. But would such a tax be enough to get the job done?

    A Democrat will be inaugurated as president in 2021 and Democrats will be in full control of Congress as well. Some version of the Green New Deal will be in effect from 2022 forward.

    However, even if a revenue positive tax on carbon fuel is included with the massive new spending program that will be enacted in 2021, that tax plus the additional government spending won’t be nearly enough to reach an 80% GHG reduction target for 2050.

    Compressing one-hundred years of technological and economic transformation away from a carbon-fueled American society into a largely carbonless society within a time span of just thirty years will have a number of painful impacts.

    Assuming a GHG reduction target of 80% by 2050 is indeed the goal climate activists have in mind for the Green New Deal, a 21st Century revival of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect philosophy won’t be nearly enough to stay on schedule.

    At some point in the mid to late 2020’s, strictly enforced mandatory energy conservation measures must be imposed. By the mid to late 2030’s, lack of progress in meeting the 80% by 2050 schedule would force consideration of a mandatory carbon fuel rationing program.

    In 2035, how would America’s voters react to being told that starting in 2038, they could buy only X amount of gasoline and diesel, and Y each year less than that between 2039 and 2049?

    • “A Democrat will be inaugurated as president in 2021 and Democrats will be in full control of Congress as well. Some version of the Green New Deal will be in effect from 2022 forward.” And you know that because? You derived this from fake news? Or maybe a poll that said it’s 90% sure? Are you watching the rest of the world?

      • markl: “And you know that because? You derived this from fake news? Or maybe a poll that said it’s 90% sure? Are you watching the rest of the world?”

        The 2018 mid-term elections were a referendum on the Trump presidency. He lost that referendum in a big way.

        The Democrats won a decisive majority in the House. Had the more vulnerable Republican seats in the Senate been included in the 2018 election cycle, the Senate would have passed into the hands of the Democrats too.

        More than that, the Democrats learned the hard way in 2016 that extreme overconfidence has no place in a modern presidential election, because anything can and will happen. They won’t be making the same mistake in 2020.

        The big question for the Democrats to be asking themselves in 2021, once they are back in full control in Washington DC, is this: How committed are they to making serious GHG reductions as far and as fast as climate activists claim is needed?

        If the Democrats are truly serious about making those GHG reductions, they will go beyond simply spending gazillions of dollars on the renewables, the smart grid, and on energy storage systems. If they are truly serious about it, this is what they must do:

        They must commit themselves to former President Obama’s original goal of an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2050. They must also enact a stiff tax on carbon, they must enact mandatory energy conservation measures, they must use the Clean Air Act to its maximum possible effectiveness in directly regulating all major sources of America’s GHG’s; and they must push for the adoption of advanced forms of nuclear power as well as for wind and solar.

        Last but not least, if it becomes evident in the mid 2030’s that the 80% by 2050 target can’t be reached with everything that’s been done up to that point, the Democrats must state their willingness to adopt a government-enforced program of mandatory carbon fuel rationing.

        What if we don’t see the Democrats doing anything more than simply spending lots of money on green energy projects and pushing for an updated version of the Clean Power Plan? If that’s what happens in 2021 and beyond, then we will know that fighting climate change wasn’t ever their true agenda.

        • You’re drinking too much Kool Aide. If you look at the loss in the House at the last election it matches other mid terms historically. Obama lost significant seats in both the House and the Senate and still won re election. Trump has a higher approval rating so what makes you think he won’t win again?

  23. Here in the U.K. we have some of the highest prices for petrol and diesel in the Western world, mainly due to taxes. Such taxes have been in place for decades and have done nothing to stop demand for fuel increase. Although these taxes are called excise duty they are surely a carbon tax under a different name, as carbon taxes would be levied on things such as fuel. Given that our high taxes on fuel have done nothing to decrease demand how on earth do proponents of carbon taxes think they will cut demand. Also 12% of our electricity bills are government “environmental and social levies” again a carbon tax under a different name, and have done nothing to curb demand. Given facts such as this how the hell do people think carbon taxes will have any effect?

  24. In the survey, 5,000 respondents from the five countries were asked their opinions on different carbon tax designs

    which led to “The high level of public support…”

    Responding to a limited list of options FOR a carbon tax which do not include a NO carbon tax at all is not a high level of public support, unless you have an agenda, of course.

  25. “There is a consistently high level of public support across nations for a global carbon tax if the tax policy is carefully designed, according to a survey of people in the United States”

    Specifically, who were these 5,000 people who were surveyed? For all I know, they could be members of pro-green groups, ‘think’ tanks, media reporters, rich people, and universities.

    Beware, many rich people and foundations are behind carbon taxes. Why? I believe they like the idea that the bulk of taxes going into government coffers comes from the poor and middle class and hence, gets them out of the crosshairs of having their wealth taxed for social programs.

  26. “Joseph Stalin is said to have said,”” It does not matter how many people vote, its who counts the votes which matter”

    The question is “What was the wording of this survey ? and who counted it.

    MJE

  27. Given the retail price of gasoline had dropped to AUD $1.10/L recently and we already pay 41.2c/L excise and with GST that amounts to 45.32c/L or a 41.2% carbon tax do we get a pat on the back and immunity until the rest of the world catches up with us? What say the developing world and oil states to that?

    • 1.1.0?
      really?
      where?
      its dropped from 147 to 132 here and that feels cheap, and our towns around 4 to 5c cheaper than others

  28. “ATLANTA–There is a consistently high level of public support across nations for a global carbon tax if the tax policy is carefully designed,…”

    If the policy is carefully designed? IF? Since when has any tax policy been carefully designed? Yes, there are plenty of people here in Australia who truly believe a tax will solve the issue of climate change.

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