Yesterday the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation made its first public presentation of the controversial idea of raising fees on pollutants like fossil fuels until pollution becomes too expensive. Controversial too, because they want to pay all of it back to citizens. They even suggest raising fees on properties that are ecologically immature and release nutrients to surrounding properties.
“The best way to make an old invention like the diesel engine run clean is to divert the exhaust back through it. You can make an even older invention, the national economy, run clean too by putting a hefty fee on pollutants and feeding that fee back into the pockets of consumers.” So said inventor Anders Höglund, one of Sweden’s leading experts on control engineering of complex systems like engines, and inventor of the Flexible Emissions Fee Mechanism.
Presenting the Foundation’s ideas in the webinar, Board member Stephen Hinton pointed out that the idea of making people pay to introduce pollutants into the economy could be transferred to the idea of Land Tax.
Says Stephen Hinton; “Land which is immature burdens the properties and air around it, by releasing heat, water and nutrients. Following Höglund’s principles you could grade properties on their maturity, and make the ones with least maturity pay more. And you could raise the tax in that bracket until the market found a solution”.
Money collected from land tax would go back into the economy. Conventional farm land is immature, it loses nutrients far more than organic framing. This model would make organically- farmed produce comparatively cheaper.
Said Anders Höglund; ” I have presented this idea to politicians and they don’t want to part with fee incomes, they want to control it. But I say let the consumers spend the money, it brings prosperity to all if carried out in a framework of sufficiently high pollution taxes”.
A recording of the webinar can be viewed for a small fee via the Foundation’s Website http://tssef.se