Constructing a Climate Program: Committee Set to Recommend “Polluter Pays”

On Tuesday, the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee met to begin finalizing its recommendations to the California Air Resources Board about elements of the state’s climate program.

The committee’s latest draft recommends that the Board “principally, and perhaps exclusively” make polluters pay for their greenhouse gas emissions. It also recommends devoting a significant portion of the revenue generated from putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions toward emission reductions, climate adaptation, and environmental remediation.

That’s good news for California. We can’t afford to let powerful polluting industries get a free pass on their greenhouse gas emissions, essentially giving them an advantage over their greener competitors. And if we’re serious about safeguarding California’s vulnerable communities and ecosystems, we have to make a substantial investment in both the causes and consequences of global warming.

We hope that the committee’s final report includes a recommendation for a 100% “polluter pays” system and more clearly articulates the benefits of investing in climate change related activities.