Deposit all the revenues into an Earth Atmospheric Trust, administered by trustees
serving long terms and provided with a clear mandate to protect Earth’s climate system and
atmosphere for the benefit of current and future generations.
(v) Return a fraction of the revenues derived from auctioning permits to all people on
Earth in the form of an annual per capita payment. This dividend will be insignificant to the
rich but will be enough to be of real benefit to many of the world’s poor people. At the current
annual rate of global emissions of 45 gigatons CO2 equivalent and an auction price of
$20 to $80 per ton, the Trust’s total annual revenues would be $0.9 to $3.6 trillion. If half
the revenues were returned equally to all 6.3 billion people, payment would amount to $71 to $285 per capita per year….
PETER BARNES,1 ROBERT COSTANZA,2
PAUL HAWKEN,3 DAVID ORR,4 ELINOR OSTROM,5,6
ALVARO UMAÑA,7 ORAN YOUNG8
1Tomales Bay Institute, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956,
USA. 2Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University
of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA. 3Natural Capital
Institute, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA. 4Lewis Center for
Environmental Studies, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
44074, USA. 5Workshop in Political Theory and Policy
Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA.
6Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona
State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA. 7InterAmerican
Development Bank, Washington, DC 20577, USA. 8Donald
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management,
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.
SCIENCE VOL 319, www.sciencemag.org, February, 2008.