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Daniel Muth awarded Frontiers Planet Prize

22 April 2024
Daniel Muth, researcher in climate policy, was awarded National Champion by the Frontiers Planet Prize for his research into carbon taxes. According to his research, social protection is a prerequisite for ambitious climate policy.

In his awarded study, Muth (Institute for Environmental Studies) researched how to overcome economic and political challenges to make carbon polluters pay a tax that is high enough to protect our environment. Specifically, he looked at which revenue recycling measures are effective in different countries. 

Revenue recycling 
Revenue recycling refers to the way the revenue generated by carbon pricing policies is given back to society. This can be done, for example, by compensating negatively affected social groups (such as low-income households), spending the money on climate projects (renewable energy or energy efficiency), or other highly regarded social projects on education, affordable housing or development. 

He found that compensating social groups affected by the higher price of carbon is important to secure political acceptance of policy change, even in highly developed countries. Muth: “The best policy is to pair compensation with climate projects funded by carbon tax proceeds to gain public support. In situations with high income inequality or reliance on fossil fuels, the way the revenue from carbon taxes is used can greatly influence effective climate policy adoption. Furthermore, using carbon pricing revenue for multiple purposes can help gain public acceptance, address negative impacts on certain groups, and contribute to fighting climate change.” 

Frontiers Planet Prize 
The Frontiers Planet Prize recognizes scientists whose research contributes to accelerating solutions that ensure humanity remains safely within the boundaries of the Earth's ecosystem. The National Champions now move forward to the final round of the competition, where three International Champions will be awarded 1 million CHF each to support their research.