The United States can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in a way that does not increase poverty or otherwise harm low-income households and is fiscally responsible.  The Center is beginning a major new area of work on the effects of climate-change policies on low-income households, as well as these policies’ fiscal implications.
Our goals are to ensure that:
the increased energy prices that are an essential part of climate-change legislation do not drive more households into poverty or make poor households poorer; and
climate-change legislation generates sufficient revenue both to protect low-income households and to address other needs related to the fight against global warming, so that it does not increase the deficit.


Climate-Change Policies Can Treat Poor Families Fairly and Be Fiscally Responsible
Lessons from the Telephone Lifeline Program Add to Concerns About Using Utilities to Deliver Low-Income Climate Rebates
How Low-Income Consumers Fare in the Senate Climate-Change Bill
Fact Sheet: How a “Climate Rebate” Would Work
How CBO Estimates the Cost of Climate-Change Legislation: Explaining the "25 Percent Offset"
Revised 5/9/08
Designing Climate-Change Legislation that Shields Low-Income Households from Increased Poverty and Hardship
Revised 5/9/08
The Effects of Climate-Change Policies on the Federal Budget and the Budgets of Low-Income Households: An Economic Analysis
Robert Greenstein on Climate Change at the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on the Tax Aspects of a Cap-and-Trade System
Testimony: Robert Greenstein on Auctions and Revenue Recycling Under Carbon Cap and Trade Before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
Testimony:  Robert Greenstein on the Fiscal Impact of Controlling Carbon Emissions Before the House Budget Committee
Robert Greenstein, CBPP's Executive Director, on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill

Introduction by

Robert Greenstein

Comments by

David Doniger

Chad Stone

on the fiscal impact

Martha Coven on the effect on low-income households

Q&A part 1

Q&A part 2
Press Release from Environmental Defense: Nonpartisan Policy Group Says Well-Designed Cap and Trade System Can Protect Climate and Consumers

Congressional Budget Office:
CBO has published an issue brief and follow-up letter making clear that the effects on low-income households of a “cap-and-trade” system to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions will depend in large part on how the allowances to emit carbon dioxide are allocated.  For instance, CBO notes that, while effective climate-change policies will increase energy prices, “lawmakers could more than offset the price increases experienced by low-income households . . . by selling some or all of the allowances and using the revenue to compensate specific households or entities.”

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