Monday, October 15, 2007

The FeeBate policy: a combination of a fee that funds a rebate

Below, I posted articles on areas ranging from urban planning, agriculture, waste treatment and transport to energy. These articles form part of a wider vision, a package of policies recommended for global adoption, all aiming to curb emissions of greenhouse gases; in each case, a FeeBate is proposed, which constitutes the most effective way to deal with global warming. Furthermore, the FeeBate policy is ideology- and budget-neutral and has the least risk of feeding a wasteful bureaucracy.

In essence, the idea of the FeeBate policy is that a fee is imposed on products that cause emissions of greenhouse gases, while the proceeds of these fees in each case are used to help better alternatives. Items that should attract fees include fossil fuel, fertilizers, meat and polluting concrete. The proceeds of fees on these items should pay for rebates on clean alternatives in energy, such as solar and wind power, respectively supply of agrichar, alternative food (my personal favorite is vegan-organic food served in restaurants in communities without roads) and clean concrete.

This approach constitutes the most effective way to reduce the three major greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane and mitrous oxide. In many respects, markets are best suited to work out which products and technologies should get support - the main criteria should be that they are replacements for items that attracted fees, that they are safe and that they cause little or no emissions of greenhouse gases, or - even better - that they are greenhouse gas negative. Fees can be collected locally as long as each community is serious about reducing greenhouse gases; importantly, the proceeds should fund rebates on local supply of better alternatives. As an example, rebates on supply of clean and renewable energy can be funded by fees on coal that is burned to supply electricity in the area. Similarly, agrichar can be produced by means of pyrolysis from various forms of biowaste - rebates on sales of agrichar can be funded by fees on fertilizers.

The concept should be adopted globally, but implemented locally; levels of fees and rebates can be adjusted on an annual basis, depending on how successfully the shift takes place. This FeeBate policy can be regarded as a form of geo-engineering; it will change the shape of urban planning, agriculture, waste treatment, transport and energy supply around the world; moreover, it will transform politics and the very socio-economic fabric of society on a global scale.

In conclusion, the FeeBate policy that I proposed includes:
  • a fee of 10% on sales of new cars with internal combustion engines, with proceeds used to fund rebates for electric cars
  • a fee of 10% on sales of gasoline, with proceeds used to fund rebates on purchases and installation of facilities that produce renewable energy
  • a fee of 10% on sales of coal, with rebates given when electricity suppliers install facilities that produce electricity from renewable sources
  • a fee of 10% on building and construction work using concrete that contributes to global warming, with proceeds used to fund rebates on buildings that used clean concrete
  • a fee of 10% on sales of fertilizers, with rebates on sales of agrichar
  • a fee of 10% on sales of meat, with rebates and vouchers for vegan-organic foo

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