By simply changing the way governments collect taxes--AND WITHOUT INCREASING THEM--countries could create a green economic structure in which environment-friendly goods
and technologies, as well as ecological practices, would be rewarded
. This would result in green growth
. Economies would progressively and effortlessly become greener and greener over time.
The same structure would put non-green goods
at a competitive disadvantage and result in degrowth
in their sector. The GEE would therefore have a double impact on economies and be twice as powerful as any other strategy for it.
The GEE would change the incentive structure of economies and make the massive power of markets help save the environment instead of destroy it. This new revenue-neutral strategy could be the most powerful approach we have so far for long-term sustainability.
The GEE is NOT an ELEGANT SOLUTION on the surface as it relies on taxation and would imply changes in the pricing of consumer goods. BUT consumer prices have always changed--the cost of energy has gone up, that of electronics has gone down, etc.--and will continue to do so, and the GEE is CHEAPER (ESSENTIALLY FREE) and MORE EFFECTIVE than other strategies, making it the best choice overall.
The GEE would provide a viable alternative to GHG targets and credit trading systems without reliance on additional funding sources, subsidies, or new regulations. It would help boost demand and markets for natural clean solar and wind power as well as for ethanol and biodiesel while addressing the problem of net efficiency in biofuel production. Cars and the auto industry would see many changes in conjunction with the development of smart-grid technology. It would provide a means for managing both depletable and renewable resources.