Why Now is the Time to Build a Broad Citizen Movement for Green Energy Dividends

Theda Skocpol, Harvard University

Families are struggling economically, and America needs to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. We can tackle both challenges at once, argues Theda Skocpol – if a broad movement fights to raise the price of carbon energy and use most of the revenues to send annual rebate checks to every U.S. citizen.


Read Theda Skocpol's brief outlining the green dividends strategy. The brief builds on her widely discussed report, "Naming the Problem," about the failed 2009-10 effort to enact U.S. cap and trade legislation. Skocpol situated the failed legislative campaign in the fast-shifting U.S. political landscape and suggested lessons to inform more effective efforts in the future.

The issues at stake were debated by scholars and leading environmental activists at a February 2013 Harvard University symposium on "The Politics of America's Fight Against Global Warming." A related SSN spotlight provides a full video of the symposium and links to related media reports and expert briefs on policy options, the climate change denial campaign, and trends in public opinion.

SSN has a wide range of briefs on environmental and energy issues.

December 2013