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DATE: September 25, 2001
CONTACT: Craig Cheslog, Redefining Progress


OAKLAND, Calif.—Auctioning tradable carbon dioxide (CO2) emission permits and giving revenue back to firms and consumers is the climate policy that offers the greatest advantage to U.S. businesses, according to a report released today by Redefining Progress.

The issue brief, Auctioning CO2 Permits: A Business-Friendly Climate Policy, was released by Redefining Progress at its Market Solutions to Climate Change Conference held at the Stanford Business School.

Industries, workers, and consumers alike would benefit more from the revenue generated by auctioning permits versus any "giveaway" system. The revenue raised by charging for CO2 permits could be "recycled" directly back to companies and citizens. By investing this revenue back into the economy, the necessary transition to cleaner energy sources would be made with greater ease.

"The United States can join the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without jeopardizing the long-term health of the economy," said Accurate Prices Program Director Mark Glickman. "This is the latest study to support the idea that market-based mechanisms are the most cost-effective and business-friendly way to do so."

Auctioning provides greater incentives for industries to lower costs and ensures the allocation of permits to firms that value them the most. In addition, this market-based system allows the private sector, rather than the government, to determine the allocation. The auctioning process can also raise revenue to assist industries and people disproportionately impacted by CO2 reductions.

Redefining Progress is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Oakland, Calif., that develops policies and tools to reorient the economy to value people and nature first. RP does this by developing policies that capture the economy's hidden social and environmental costs, transform the human use and distribution of the Earth's natural resources, and restore the value of shared social and natural assets.