For effective, efficient, equitable carbon pricing:

  1. Price pollution with a defined, steadily rising price on climate-disrupting emissions, preferably at the source.
  2. Add momentum. Enhance incomes; build economic value at the human scale.
  3. Reduce emissions effectively and accountably, by keeping the administrative structure simple and transparent.
  4. Internalize inefficiencies — cost and harm linked to polluting business models — incrementally, with escalating certainty and with no leakage.
  5. Spread by aligning price signals and supporting policies, harmonizing across borders, so pricing can be enacted country by country.

The PARIS Principles were introduced in September 2014, with the launch of the Pathway to Paris project. They were offered as guidance to the research process that led to the creation of the FASTER Principles, and continued to serve as the guiding context for engagement of the Carbon Pricing Workstream of the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network, during and after the COP21 in Paris.

In support of the new effort and as the virtue of household dividends has become more apparent in political struggles over carbon pricing, we have updated and re-launched these five principles, so the action mandate at the start of each line spells P-A-R-I-S:

  1. Price pollution,
  2. Add momentum,
  3. Reduce emissions,
  4. Internalize inefficiencies, and
  5. Spread by aligning.

Any carbon pricing policy that meets these five principles, as laid out at the top of this page — covering the whole economy, expanding the economic vibrancy of local economies, and steadily intensifying the market signal that pollution is not good business — can achieve an efficient, effective, equitable transition to climate-smart low-carbon practices.

The future prosperity of any economy — even those that are disproportionately funded by carbon fuel production — will hinge on being able to achieve such a transition.

A full history of the PARIS Principles is laid out at with updates to show how these principles align with elements of the Paris Agreement and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition processes.

From the Pathway to Paris Whitepaper:

Economic Inviability of an Unhealthy Market

It is no longer mathematically viable to build our economic framework around combustible hydrocarbon fuels. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-forcing compounds (such as methane) are altering the Earth’s atmosphere, warming the oceans, and destabilizing the global climate system. The cost of inaction is already unaffordable, and will only escalate over time.

History & Resources

  • The Pathway to Paris coalition-building project, to foster direct citizen participation in supranational climate policy processes, became the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network.
  • The largest Pathway to Paris working session was held on October 25, 2015, as Day 1 of the Minneapolis 2015 climate action conference, where the governance strategy for the CCEN was announced.
  • The CCEN held its first international working session in Paris, during the first week of the COP21.
  • All subsequent CCEN work is now online at, with a detailed Resource Library on carbon pricing available through the Carbon Pricing Workstream.

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