Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, proposed a strategy to combat climate change. He shared his vision for a Clean Energy Dividend which he hopes will help tackle climate change.
Sir Richard wrote in his blog today that he believes there will be an opportunity to create several million jobs. These new jobs will coincide with a reduction in the price of fuels over the long term.
What is climate change?
Climate change refers to the long-term change in our planet’s weather patterns and average surface and atmospheric temperatures.
The term does not have the same meaning as global warming. We only use the term global warming when average temperatures are rising. Climate change includes both temperature increases and declines.
Climate change also includes changes in the intensity and frequency of droughts, floods, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events. Global warming focuses just on temperature.
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Sir Richard sees a simple way to combat climate change
Sir Richard wrote:
“I believe there is an extremely simple way to whip climate change and I plan to set it out below. It’s wonderful to see children all over the world marching today for such an important cause and they are absolutely right that if we don’t implement ideas immediately then their lives and their children’s lives are going to be imperiled.”
“Many people working on this subject believe the world needs a carbon tax on dirty fuels – coal and oil – to solve the problem. However, the problem with a carbon tax is that it has so far been impossible to impose without governments falling. The Australian government tried to bring one in and they were kicked out – the new government cancelled it. In November 2018, the state of Washington voted against a carbon tax for the second time in two years.”
Carbon taxes are unpopular
Although carbon taxes are well-intentioned, many people wonder whether they will raise enough resources, says Sir Richard. Specifically, enough resources to tackle the problem.
Some people are also skeptical about whether the money would even be spent on climate change solutions.
Therefore, apart from being unpopular with companies, carbon taxes are also unpopular with both governments and the public.
Sir Richard proposes a Clean Energy Dividend
Sir Richard wants to propose a Clean Energy Dividend. Regarding this new Dividend, he wrote:
“Every company in the world should accept a Clean Energy Dividend to be imposed on the fossil fuel they use and the carbon emissions they cause.”
“The dividend could be the equivalent percentage that a carbon tax would have been, and based on cutting pollution at the rate the climate science shows is necessary. However, unlike a carbon tax, that money wouldn’t disappear into government coffers, but would be used specifically to be invested in generating clean energy through wind farms and solar panels, as well as the development of more low carbon fuels and other breakthrough technologies.”
“The companies, through those investments, can get that money back, plus dividends (it would be wise to have some independent governance to make absolutely certain that all companies comply with this remit.)”