An answer to air pollution

Written by Brian Utton and Judy Hindley on .

Marlborough’s designation as an Air Quality Management Area (a point made in Dr. Sam Page’s letter of July 18) means that frequently the very air we breathe is now dangerous to health, due to pollution mainly by our use of fossil fuels.

The producers reap the profits from this use – but in terms of health damage (and costs), the whole community pays - effectively a subsidy for the fossil fuel industry.
How can this be corrected?

Governments and industry are calling for a tax on fossil fuels to ensure the price paid covers the cost of the social damage resulting from their use.  However simply taxing fossil fuels would crash economies and hurt low-income families.

There is an answer - Carbon Fee and Dividend.  This policy, which returns the revenue from an annually rising tax (the 'fee') as an equal dividend to every citizen is a proven mechanism that helps and encourages people to adopt a low carbon lifestyle. 

It gives industry confidence when making investment decisions, thereby growing rather than stifling the economy.  It's a policy that can be implemented quickly and cheaply.

What can we do?  To find out more about Carbon Fee and Dividend and how it could be implemented, come along to the presentation in the function room at The Bear in Marlborough at 7:30 pm on Thursday, 22 September.

Brian Utton and Judy Hindley
Citizens' Climate Lobby, Marlborough