Policies

Feebates, preferably implemented locally, are recommended as the most effective way to reach targets. As discussed at the main page, the Climate Plan encourages decisions what works best locally to be taken locally. In other words, each local community can largely decide how to implement things, provided that each of the targets are reached.

Feebates may not always seem the best policy instrument. It makes sense to reroute commercial flights that now go over the Arctic. At first glance, outright prohibition of commercial flights over the Arctic may seem the way to go. Similarly, some highly polluting gases have been phased out thanks to the Montreal Protocol. And similarly, standards have managed to lead to higher efficiencies in lighting, appliances and vehicles.

Nonetheless, high fees could make such flights prohibitively expensive, so feebates could still be applicable. Feebates are especially effective due to the fact that they raise revenues that can be used to help the better alternatives locally. Furthermore, standards often do benefit the products that just meet the requirements under the respective standard, but standards do not the cleanest products much. In many cases, the shift achieved by standards can actually come at the expense of development of the cleanest products, which would benefit more from feebates. This is further discussed at Feebates.

Two types of feebates can best achieve the necessary shifts toward a sustainable economy, in addition to their benefits on further lines of action:
  • energy feebates
  • agriculture, land use and construction feebates


Energy feebates

Many carbon dioxide removal methods are energy-intensive. As long as the energy used is expensive and polluting, not much can be achieved. A rapid shift to clean energy is necessary, which is best facilitated through energy feebates.


As the number of solar and wind facilities grows, large amounts of clean electricity will become available at off-peak hours, when there's little demand for electricity. This will make such electricity cheap, bringing down the cost of methods such as enhanced weathering, which can take place at off-peak hours. Such energy will also make carbon dioxide removal more effective, since the energy is clean to start with.

Agriculture, land use and construction feebates



Energy feebates can best clean up energy, while other feebates (such as pictured in the above diagram) can best raise revenue for carbon dioxide removal. Energy feebates can phase themselves out, completing the necessary shift to clean energy within a decade. Carbon dioxide removal will need to continue for much longer, so funding will need to be raised from other sources, such as sales of livestock products, nitrogen fertilizers and Portland cement.

A range of methods to remove carbon dioxide would be eligible for funding under such feebates. To be eligible for rebates, methods merely need to be safe and remove carbon dioxide.

There are methods to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and/or from the oceans. Rebates favor methods that also have commercial viability. In case of enhanced weathering, this will favor production of building materials, road pavement, etc. Such methods could include water desalination and pumping of water into deserts, in efforts to achieve more vegetation growth. Fees could be added to local council rates where land is eroding through neglect; conversily, growing a forest where once was a desert could be made more attractive through rebates on local council rates.

Some methods will be immediately viable, such as afforestation and biochar. It may take some time for methods such as enhanced weathering to become economically viable, but when they do, they can take over where afforestation has exhausted its potential to get carbon dioxide back to 280ppm.

Toward a Sustainable Economy

In the diagram below, from the post Towards a Sustainable Economy, the above feebates show up as yellow arrows.


Methane Management and further Action

Feebates are particularly effective in achieving the necessary shift to a sustainable economy. The same two feebates that can most effectively facilitate the necessary shift to clean energy, can also be very effective in methane management and further necessary action. 

Further Action

Given the international nature of some of the necessary action, feebates may at first glance seem less applicable and there may seem less need to delegate the implementation to local levels. Yet, the concept of feebates is helpful, as it can overcome budget concerns, while it can also enable many operational decisions to be taken at the local level where the action is to be implemented. As an example, where sufficient funding is lacking, fees could be imposed on international flights (in addition to the fees on fuel and airplanes that are part of the feebates discussed above) and the revenues could be applied directly and exclusively to support such international causes. International agreement on what action is needed and how funding can be raised can do a lot to help speed up implementation of the necessary action at local level. 

For further details, view the Main page and the Action page.