For effective, efficient, equitable carbon pricing:
- Price pollution with a defined, steadily rising price on climate-disrupting emissions, preferably at the source.
- Add momentum. Enhance incomes; build economic value at the human scale.
- Reduce emissions effectively and accountably, by keeping the administrative structure simple and transparent.
- Internalize inefficiencies — cost and harm linked to polluting business models — incrementally, with escalating certainty and with no leakage.
- Spread by aligning price signals and supporting policies, harmonizing across borders, so pricing can be enacted country by country.
The PARIS Principles were introduced in September 2014, with the launch of the Pathway to Paris project. They were offered as guidance to the research process that led to the creation of the FASTER Principles, and continued to serve as the guiding context for engagement of the Carbon Pricing Workstream of the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network, during and after the COP21 in Paris.
In support of the new ParisProgress.net effort and as the virtue of household dividends has become more apparent in political struggles over carbon pricing, we have updated and re-launched these five principles, so the action mandate at the start of each line spells P-A-R-I-S:
- Price pollution,
- Add momentum,
- Reduce emissions,
- Internalize inefficiencies, and
- Spread by aligning.
Any carbon pricing policy that meets these five principles, as laid out at the top of this page — covering the whole economy, expanding the economic vibrancy of local economies, and steadily intensifying the market signal that pollution is not good business — can achieve an efficient, effective, equitable transition to climate-smart low-carbon practices.
The future prosperity of any economy — even those that are disproportionately funded by carbon fuel production — will hinge on being able to achieve such a transition.
A full history of the PARIS Principles is laid out at engage4climate.org/core with updates to show how these principles align with elements of the Paris Agreement and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition processes.
From the Pathway to Paris Whitepaper:
Economic Inviability of an Unhealthy Market
It is no longer mathematically viable to build our economic framework around combustible hydrocarbon fuels. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-forcing compounds (such as methane) are altering the Earth’s atmosphere, warming the oceans, and destabilizing the global climate system. The cost of inaction is already unaffordable, and will only escalate over time.
History & Resources
- The Pathway to Paris coalition-building project, to foster direct citizen participation in supranational climate policy processes, became the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network.
- The largest Pathway to Paris working session was held on October 25, 2015, as Day 1 of the Minneapolis 2015 climate action conference, where the governance strategy for the CCEN was announced.
- The CCEN held its first international working session in Paris, during the first week of the COP21.
- All subsequent CCEN work is now online at engage4climate.org, with a detailed Resource Library on carbon pricing available through the Carbon Pricing Workstream.
Share the PARIS Principles...
An idea whose time has come
In 2010, when Citizens’ Climate Lobby brought 25 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, it felt like a big challenge to get enough people to go the distance, to meet with all 535 voting members of Congress. This year, we brought 36 times as many people, and it is looking more like we will need more elected officials to welcome and build relationships with all the citizen lobbyists coming to make democracy work.
The Carbon Pricing Workstream is the first of our policy-focused Workstreams for the COP21 in Paris to start regular work.
There is a standing meeting, every Thursday at 10:00 am EDT (New York time). See below for global start times.
With the goal of introducing principled guiding language into the final text of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Paris Intervention Carbon Pricing Workstream is an action-focused initiative, within the Pathway to Paris Working Sessions, aimed at shaping language that can be included in the text of the Paris agreement to anchor a wide range of national carbon pricing initiatives and ensure that the voice of stakeholders is heard and included in the international climate agreement.
We will review and assess the current working text of the international climate agreement, explore its structure, examine the specific language used to address to carbon pricing, define and refine that language, expose weaknesses, “loop holes” and “escape hatches”, and identify areas of opportunity to introduce new language that supports economically efficient, socially equitable, and environmentally effective carbon pricing and climate solutions.
Working Session start times
- San Diego 7:00 am; New York 10:00 am
- London 3:00 pm; Paris 4:00 pm
- Abu Dhabi 6:00 pm; Dhaka 8:00 pm
- Perth 10:00 pm; Sydney 11:59 pm
To join our Working Sessions, download the free Fuze software, dial by phone or view in your browser.
- Fuze Meeting ID: 27660722
- Join by phone: +1-201-479-4595 (enter Meeting ID when prompted)
- URL: http://fuze.me/27660722 (view/listen only)
To sign up for our Carbon Pricing Workstream, go to pathwaytoparis.org/workstreams and join.
On March the 12th, Citizens’ Climate Lobby hosted its 4th online working session for the Pathway to Paris project. (It was the 6th open working session in the series to date.) After the discussion, participants were given the opportunity to propose further comments and insights through an online form.
Much of the participants was again reducing carbon emissions through carbon pricing. The group discussed some complex issues relating to the design and implementation of this leading policy priority. This led to important new insights, specifically in relation to the difficulties inherent in changing the economic status quo, despite the already mounting costs of an escalating climate catastrophe. A focus was the need for efficient enabling policies to facilitate a broad shift in energy production practices.Read more
The Symposia and Workshops of the NCSE Conference are meant to be wide-open discussions, so they follow the Chatham House Rules, where direct attribution is barred. We can share the names of the panelists from our Symposium, and we can say that the results of that session, with moderated discussion, were: fresh insights, new connections between competing perspectives, and a solid endorsement of carbon pricing, a bold transition to a low-carbon economy, and the role of citizens in making good policy happen.Read more
Oil prices have come down dramatically in the last few months, causing speculation that we are about to see a boom in oil consumption, and a move away from fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid engines, alternative fuels, and electric cars. Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, sees it differently: this is an opportunity to put in place the policies that will allow us to avoid future negative fallout from overdependence on fossil fuels.Read more
Like objects in a passenger-side mirror, the tipping point for pricing carbon is a lot closer than it appears, and votes this week in the Senate moved it a bit closer. Let’s indulge ourselves for a moment to connect some dots that have me accentuating the positive. In the Senate on Wednesday, three amendments to the Keystone XL pipeline bill were taken up about climate change. These were “sense of the Senate” resolutions.Read more
Report from the World Bank / IMF Civil Society Forum
In the years I have been attending and contributing to the World Bank / IMF Civil Society Policy Forum, I have witnessed a distinct and ongoing evolution. Multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF, which are funded by and directed by governments, and which do business with governments, have direct impacts on elements of society that are not in the room when decisions are made. So civil society organizations have an important role to play in highlighting and reducing major risk areas, and in shaping policies that lead to better outcomes.Read more
Inaction to confront and reduce the risks of ongoing climate destabilization is bad fiscal policy. That is the message coming from the International Monetary Fund, the world's leading fiscal rescue institution. The IMF deals with countries in default, or whose fiscal solvency is so delicate as to verge on catastrophe. In late 2013, one island nation saw 15% of annual GDP wiped out in 3 hours of unprecedented rain. Such sudden, unpredictable impacts make reliable fiscal policy planning impossible, because the value of any one dollar of spending or investment is so destabilized.Read more