Having a good idea is one thing. But to realize it is a much more difficult one. Before we describe what the implementation of the idea of an individual climate account for everyone could look like, we would first like to mention something that we read recently:
"There are two reasons for climate change: human activity and human inactivity."
Consequently, the question is not whether we should do something, but rather how long we have left to Change something. Certainly, there are critical objections that the implementation of this concept would be far too complex and therefore far too expensive. This will certainly not be a small matter. But it is also clear that once the issue of climate has fallen on our feet, we won't need to worry about the economy any more, because nature will probably solve it much more brutally than the processes that humanity itself can set in motion. The younger ones will be confronted with the unpaid ecological bills of the older ones. It is also possible that human rights will not survive global warming.
Incidentally, the introduction of the EURO is an example of how it is quite possible to initially master the establishment of a volume-limited currency, at least throughout Europe:
Not too long ago we also had to cope with a gigantic big bang. As of January 1, 2002, the common currency EURO was introduced in 12 countries simultaneously (as of 2020, the Euro is the official currency in 19 countries). Since that moment, 320 million people had the same money in their wallets overnight. All current contracts also had to be converted to the new euro currency in a legal big bang - a mammoth organizational task. But it worked. Because the benefits of a stable common currency made the enormous effort worthwhile. No less important is the current challenge for the task of the century - fair emissions management.
Iterative multinational large-scale projects have also been successfully managed in the past. Just think of the successful implementation of the ban on CFCs at the turn of the millennium. As a reminder: Already in the recent past, the emission of a man-made greenhouse gas led to a climate crisis - the hole in the ozone layer. In 1990, the world demonstrated remarkable unity once again. The politicians of all countries reacted with exemplary unity to the man-made threat to the climate. In order to protect the ozone layer, a worldwide ban on climate killer gas within 10 years was agreed upon in an overwhelming alliance of the community of states. Subsequently, all 197 UN states signed the agreement. And what is even more important, it was also implemented! Since the year 2000, the industry - except for small quantities for medicines - no longer uses CFC gases.
Goods producing companies pass on the climate fee associated with their products, as well as all preliminary stages, to the consumer via wholesale and retail trade. Producers and service providers are merely pass-throughs, similar with our sales tax law and the input tax deduction procedure. Input tax here is the value added tax that an entrepreneur shows on invoices to his business partners. Here, too, the value-added tax is only a transitory item. Intermediaries can also simply pass on the VAT of an item to the retail trade by showing it on the invoice without having to pay it separately to the tax office. In this case, too, only the end consumer is ultimately obliged to pay the VAT.
Commercial retail trade
Each trader must pay his supplier not only the requested amount of money from his business account, but also the stated ECO amount from his commercial ECO clearing account. He bills the consumer for the amount of money calculated for his expenses, including the desired profit margin, as well as the calculated amount of the climate currency ECO. Let us take the sale of a new car as an example. The buyer has to pay 25,000 euros plus 30,000 ECO (for the climate impact associated with the material, production, transport and distribution).
But what happens if this car is to be resold privately after a while of use? Well, analogous to the selling price in Euros, which is also negotiated individually between the private seller and the new owner according to the laws of supply and demand, an agreed amount can also be transferred to ECO from the buyer's account to the seller's account at the climate bank. The currency ECO can be traded freely, as described above, just like goods. Just as the payment of a Euro amount from private to private is not subject to any official control with regard to the amount of the amount, the payment to ECO is also excluded with regard to the compensation amount negotiated between the two private parties. Only the transfer of the ECO to be paid to the private seller, i.e. the transfer of the amount between the two accounts, does not take place peer to peer, but must be made through the climate bank. However, this is done in a similarly uncomplicated way as a normal bank transfer or a Transfer to a PayPal account.
Energy supply companies in the form of mineral oil companies, electricity and gas suppliers, are classic pass-throughs of the CO₂-prices associated with their products. The customary units for fuels, heating oil, electricity and gas, are certified in ECO according to the amount associated with their emissions and collected together with the usual annual consumption bill and transferred to the climate bank. As with all other trades, only the consumer pays. Even if there is a manufacturing industry in the chain between the energy supplier and the end consumer, the CO₂-price of the complete chain is passed on, similar to the wholesale and retail trade.
The transport sector, is dealt via the fuel bill at the filling station. Just as with the energy supply companies described above, payment takes place in a similar form. By the way, this also makes a vehicle tax superfluous and replace it. Because the current vehicle tax model does not take into account the polluter-pays principle in any way. Only the ownership of a vehicle of a certain pollutant class is taxed, not the actual emission volume. By adding the complementary currency ECO to the petrol bill, an effective limitation of pollutant Emission is implemented and a real incentive to reduce emission created.
In principle, the following applies: from the point of view of the energy supplier, a service company is to be treated like a private household. According to the motto (only) one must pay, the owner is charged the energy costs associated with his business (in Euro and ECO). This fetches the laid-out expenses by suitable calculation of its services, from the final consumer back. It is quite possible that a surplus or even a loss of ECO is generated. As is the case with the private sale of an item and the price in Euro and ECO freely negotiated between the trading partners.
The hairdressing industry is a good example of how the climate currency ECO is used in practice. Since a hairdressing salon is both a product trader and a service provider, both aspects must be taken into account. The simpler part is product trading. As in the example of commercial retail trade, the hairdresser will collect the associated amount of ECO for a bottle of hairspray from the customer and pass it on to his supplier. For the hair washing and cutting service, for example, the owner will, as described above, act as a private trader. The salon will estimate the pro rata expenses associated with its service, e.g. for energy and water consumption, the operation of the business premises (heating and electricity) and the consumption of the care products used, and will estimate a sum in ECO for this. Similarly, the labour, consumption and commissioning costs associated with the work involved must be calculated and priced in Euros in order to cover costs.
Parallel to the usual mass calculation, in which all materials used are listed for the preparation of an offer or for invoicing, the climate price of the individual material items to be processed is also shown by calculation and invoiced in the form of an ECO amount, similar to the previous example "hairdressing salon".
Here, too, the airline initially calculates the cost of the energy requirement. The subsequent calculation and pricing of a flight ticket is done by dividing the calculated kerosene consumption
of the entire flight route by the number of passengers. In order to take into account, the above-average, energy-insane space requirements of business and first-class passengers, the calculation
algorithm should also include the booked seat class. Similarly, the calculation of useful freight will be implemented, whereby the weight and volume of the goods to be transported are included in
the total. But here, too, as with all other service companies, the calculation and pricing of services is the sole responsibility of the entrepreneurial freedom in accordance with the principle
of self-financing. Since companies are not allowed to trade on climate markets, distortions due to incorrect pricing for the purpose of enrichment are excluded. The industry has been deprived of
the incentive to charge higher ECO amounts than those actually spent. On the contrary: companies have an incentive to purchase raw materials and products from preliminary stages for as little ECO
as possible and to optimise the energy efficiency of their own processes in order to pass on as little ECO as possible and thus be able to place their own products more attractively on the
market. The laws of the market economy also work with the carbon resource currency ECO.
Now you might ask what exactly happens if, for example, the new currency ECO is introduced on 1 January next year. Can I still afford the daily commute to work? Will I still have a job at all when a lot of jobs are lost due to the extensive upheavals? All justified questions. Jobs will certainly be lost within those industries whose products are less in demand due to the limitation of emission. But new jobs will be created elsewhere in the economy as a whole. There will be a shift towards innovative, green industries. This is because the transition to a sustainable age will require abundant specialists to implement the new technologies. So if we set a sensible course today and train enough specialists for these new climate-friendly industries, we can not only compensate for the job losses in obsolete industries, but even benefit from a win-win situation: Climate change will be halted, there will be less environmental damage in the near future that will require expensive repairs, and new jobs will be created in increasingly sustainable industries.
Smart climate protection creates economic growth. Ecology and economy can certainly go hand in hand. So, if we now launch an education offensive and quickly drive forward innovative strategies, even the much-criticized industry can emerge from such a transformation stronger and in greener garb. Climate change may take jobs away on the one hand, but at the same time it creates new ones elsewhere.
We will change our consumptionhabits in order to save emissions and save the ECO Budget, because this isprecisely the desired goal of the new monetary system. The use of publictransport will become more interesting. Or even the change to e-mobility,possibly in connection with decentralized self-generated electricity from yourown solar roof. Because saving our climate will not be possible for free, andcertainly not according to the motto "Keep it up! Things will finally gettheir appropriate (climate) price.
It cannot work without the pressure of scarcity and rationing of our current emission habits. But consumption and daily life can also become more resource-efficient again, as soon as the ECO changes our buying behavior and industry switches to more resource-efficient production.
This chart illustrates the process of introducing the ECO on a given date. First, the industry starts with the ECO pricing. Only when all items have the additional emissions price tag is the ECO paid out to all citizens as a basic ecological income in the form of the free personal CO2 budget.
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