350 Carbon Price and Subsidies 

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Who We arecppic5.jpg

The goal of the 350 SV Carbon Price and Subsidies team is to help remove or reduce subsidies for fossil fuels and implement a fair carbon price.  Our focus is to define and work on initiatives targeting these objectives at the global, national, state or local levels, independently and in conjunction with other organizations.  In addition, we add people power by participating in other activities of the overall 350 campaign. 

What We Do

The team acts as an enabler of ideas and actions to move toward our goals. Actions that are currently in progress are listed below:

  • Visiting Representatives -We visited the offices of Assembly Members Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda, presented the 350 organization as well as the focus of our sub-team, and discussed the best way to help remove fossil fuel subsidies and implement a fair price on carbon.  Some of the ideas from that discussion are being implemented as part of our letter writing campaign (below). Further visits to additional representatives are planned over the coming months.
  • Letter Writing - One way to get the word out is letter writing broadly on the climate change issue, and specifically on the need for appropriate and fair carbon pricing to align incentives with the need to de-carbonize our economy
  • Faith Group Engagement – team members who are part of faith groups are working on an action to reach out to local branches elsewhere in the country, prioritizing locations where political support is not as strong as it is in the Bay Area, and asking them to take active on climate change. 
  • Least Bad Gas Comparison/ Oil Company Comparison- This is an effort to objectively compare the major oil corporations to determine one that is least bad.  This will be communicated to people to help them make decisions about which company they want to support with their petroleum purchases.
  • Meetings- Meetings are the third Monday of the month, usually in the Palo Alto area. Join the carbon price group below for the latest information.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Overviewcppic1.jpg

We have the technology right now to significantly reduce our usage of fossil fuels, but subsidies are making it hard to make that transition. Between 2002 and 2008, the US Government gave the fossil fuel industry over $72 billion in subsidies, while investments in renewable energy totaled $12.2 billion. This is happening in spite of the fact that oil companies are among the most profitable companies on the planet.  In a period when government spending is under scrutiny, this should be a clear target for savings.  One of the aims of this group is to draw attention to this issue and help drive the political support to end these subsidies.

Carbon Price Overview

cppic2.jpgFossil fuel companies are among the only industries able to pollute freely without paying the real cost of that pollution. Impacts of carbon pollution are borne by society, not by the companies profiting from the sale of fossil fuels. Putting a fair price on carbon is not only the fair thing to do, it is also the most environmentally effective and economically efficient way to reduce pollution.

  • It is a powerful way to drive businesses to take action
  • It encourages businesses to find best way to reduce carbon pollution
  • It aligns incentives: businesses with low emissions are rewarded
  • By integrating the real costs of fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are able to compete on a level playing field

The main approaches for putting a fair price on carbon are:

  • Carbon Tax: Tax levied on carbon content of fuels
  • Cap and Trade: Setting an emissions limit (or Cap) and allowing for Trading of Emissions Permits: this will reward efficient forms of energy production

One of the aims of the group is to communicate and inform on the need for a fair price on carbon and help drive political support to implement it.

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What can you do

  • Learn about climate change
  • Inform others: Friends, Relatives, Co-Workers
  • Join our group and work with us to take action (link for google group here)
  • Participate in 350 events to demonstrate your support for action on this issue