The Necessities of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act


Gabriela McGrath Moreira

As the Climate Crisis becomes increasingly relevant and pressing, effective solutions are needed such as climate policy.

Gabriela McGrath Moreira, Staff Writer

When the topic of climate change is brought up, usually solutions such as composting, beach cleanups and veganism are mentioned. Truthfully, those solutions are indeed beneficial but with almost eight years left to effectively lessen the disastrous effects of global warming, we need drastic solutions to solve it. Now, legislation is needed to pass effective climate policy. With the deeply divided political climate in the United States effective policy that is simple and direct while reaching across the aisle is needed, and that is exactly what the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act does. 

A simple way to create a clean energy economy is through a monetary incentive. Money, as we know, is what drives companies or prevents them from investing. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act incorporates fees, meaning that this policy charges carbon at the source which acts as an incentive for companies to go towards a clean energy economy. The fee is also more bipartisan as the revenue is given back to the people consequently appealing both to a Republican and democrat. Working together and reaching across the aisle is key in creating effective and especially long lasting climate policy. 

“Youth are mainly the ones that will have to deal with the consequences of climate change in the future and I also feel the youth are more involved or at least acknowledge climate change is a thing, so if they get involved now they can make change and use their voices,” freshman Anabella Rodriguez said.

This policy would be the right step forward compared to what the United States has done in the past. There are numerous environmental regulations in the U.S. government but they would not be able to meet the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 nor help residents who have suffered from climate-related effects. Environmental regulations can only go so far and are  not stable as each presidency has different agendas so every 4 years they are at risk of being rolled back just like former President Trump did. 

Time and time again, the United States federal government has failed its constituents and the environment. Environmental injustice clearly affects marginalized communities by creating issues such as climate gentrification which leads to families being displaced due to everyone moving inland because of sea level rise. The carbon fee and dividend allows money to be given back to the people, instead of just putting the burden of the tax on them. Choosing to give the revenue back ensures lower income members of society can survive. Something has to be done about the climate crisis while simultaneously repaying those who have fallen victim to the failures.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby

Now it may seem that this regulation is perfect, yet it has not been enacted. Regardless, there is light at the end of the tunnel and the youth are one of the driving supporters of this legislation. Citizens Climate Lobby is a group that is introducing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act into Congress. This is a nationwide group but there is a chapter in Miami and specifically a South Florida youth chapter is always looking for new volunteers. 

“I believe it is not only important, but crucial in developing a momentum for establishing climate policy…We need a policy that will make a national and then global change, to fully deal with the climate crisis. Without the youth and the weight of the future that they carry on their backs, the necessary climate policy that will instigate massive changes will never be done,” freshman Amalia Garrido said.

Policies like this one are important because they actually face the reality of climate change. It is not recent news that the effects have disproportionately affected under-resourced communities and, as it continues, some of the repercussions will be irreversible. There is a need for large-scale, bipartisan and  effective climate policy such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend act instead of enacting environmental regulations that are not as effective. Change is needed and the youth will help ensure our legislative body will vote for it because, if not, when elections come around, they will remember.