Carbon Pricing Principles FAQS

  1. What are the Carbon Pricing Principles?
    A price on carbon can take many different forms. Even among those who strongly support a price on carbon, there is disagreement about some elements of an ideal structure.  Recognizing that successful legislation putting a price on carbon is the job of Congress and will be influenced by thousands of different stakeholders, the Carbon Pricing Principles set out high-level “must haves” for a final bill. The principles remain agnostic on a number of features of a carbon price, but clearly articulate design elements that are essential to an ambitious, achievable, and sustainable carbon price.
  2. Why did you develop the Carbon Pricing Principles?

    Economists, politicians, and business leaders from across the political spectrum agree that an economy-wide carbon price is the most efficient, effective and low-cost mechanism to achieve significant emissions reductions. Placing a price on carbon will harness the power of the market, encourage innovation and stimulate economic growth.

    The U.S. will fall far short of meeting its long-term GHG reduction goals without putting additional policies in place. Carbon pricing is the next logical step.

  3. Why should my company add its name to the Carbon Pricing Principles?

    Congress currently lacks the political mandate to act on climate change. To encourage our elected officials to act, legislators on both sides of the aisle need to hear that major businesses and investors understand the need and the value of pricing carbon.  Adding your company’s name is a risk free way of providing general support for the notion that pricing carbon is a sensible approach whose time has come.
  4. If my company decides to sign on to the Principles, what else will be expected of us?

    Nothing. There is no obligation to take additional action once your company has signed on. However, all signatories are encouraged to take part in private and public meetings with lawmakers and to make their support known in the public arena.
  5. Are the Carbon Pricing principles designed to commit companies and investors to a specific piece of legislation?

    No. These principles are designed to provide a non-prescriptive foundation to stimulate a constructive conversation among lawmakers and the business community.
  6. Will the Carbon Pricing Principles be released publicly?

    Yes. Our communications plan will include a press release and likely a tele-presser or a live press conference and other communication depending on the interest and needs of participating signatories. Assuming resources are available, we will consider paid advertising.
  7. How can I make certain that my company’s CEO is involved in the release?

    The sooner you let us know of your company’s specific interests the better. A media package including sample quotes, tweets and talking points will be provided two weeks before the actual release of the Carbon Pricing Principles.
  8. What types of signatories are invited to sign on to the Carbon Pricing Principles?

    Businesses and institutional investors that are based in the U.S. or that have a significant U.S. presence are invited to sign on. No size restrictions are associated with becoming a signatory.
  9. Are you seeking the support of some of the 1,000 companies that have established an internal price on carbon?

    Yes, we are actively seeking these companies as signatories.
  10. Is there a cost associated with signing on to the Carbon Pricing Principles?

    No, there is no cost.
  11. Who drafted the Carbon Pricing Principles?

    Ceres and the Partnership for Responsible Growth, in consultation with a large number of think tanks, environmental organizations, and adviser businesses and investors, developed these principles over an eight-month period.
  12. What does “economy-wide” mean in reference to the Carbon Pricing Principles? 

    Experts agree that in order to achieve the maximum amount of reductions at the lowest cost, a carbon price should be “economy-wide” – meaning that it should cover as many sources of greenhouse gas emissions as possible. We recognize, however, that it may be difficult to implement a carbon price equivalent for ALL types of GHG emissions and all sources (for example, carbon emissions from agriculture). As a result, these principles allow for flexibility in the final set of GHG emissions and sources covered – but strongly encourage policymakers to endeavor to cover as many sources of carbon emissions as administratively feasible.
  13. How can my organization sign on?

    You can sign up online, or, if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to Ceres or the Partnership for Responsible Growth.

Additional Questions? Contact Jesse Vogel, Partner, Partnership for Responsible Growth:, (703) 951-7631 or Ryan Martel, Senior Manager, Policy Program, Ceres:, (617) 247-0700 x150.