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What makes a carbon tax seem more (or less) fair?

In theory, putting a price on carbon is a great way to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. In practice, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes have faced lots of opposition from both politicians and the public, resulting in failed, repealed, or watered-down initiatives. So what would make such policies more palatable?

The answer, in short, seems to be catering to people’s perceptions of fairness. In a study published in Climate Policy, researchers set out to determine what characteristics of carbon policies make people deem them fair or unfair. A better understanding of these dynamics could help policy makers design carbon pricing systems that the public is more likely to accept.