3.14.1-2: Land Value Capture and Climate Change

Module 3, Section 14.1-2

Land Value Capture and Climate Change

The state of the earth now requires that the costs of industrial production and human commercial activity no longer be externalized onto the local to global commons.

Wangari Maathai planting trees Wangari Maathi, Nobel Laureate, plants a tree.

14.1 Here are some ways that land value capture can help address global warming and climate change:

  • Tax pollution - Governments should directly levy carbon and other pollution charges and use these funds to develop renewable energy systems and to launch campaigns to “buy and invest in clean and green” technologies and products.
  • Decrease wage taxes - Because energy taxes can be regressive, combine them with tax decreases on wage incomes or ideally, eliminate wage taxes altogether.
  • Reduce or ideally eliminate taxes on buildings - This along with full land value capture will encourage infill development and more compact cities that make energy efficient use of public transportation and infrastructure while discouraging wasteful sprawl development patterns.
  • Curb profiteering and speculation in land and natural resources – When investment of funds in these non-productive activities is discouraged via land value capture more funds are available for investing in new "green energy" technologies and environmentally sensitive design and production.
  • Encourage more labor intensive, organic agriculture, rather than oil intensive giant agribusiness. - Land value capture will help keep land affordable for small farm agriculture and better reward farmers for their labor when their tax burden is decreased or eliminated. This form of agriculture also encourages healthy communities and decentralized, local based economies, decreasing the necessity for people to drive long distances to work or for food to be transported long distances to markets.

Ecological economics research and data indicate that true cost pricing of natural resource use and capturing that cost via ecotaxes and resource rental charges would be sufficient to eliminate taxes on labour and productive, sustainable capital. Thus full incentives are harnessed to address climate change (tax "bads") and encourage green technology (untax "goods").


14.2 In this Module, you have learned about the policy of Land Value Capture and how it addresses the need for improving living conditions in slums, good urban planning, sufficient financing of infrastructure and other public goods, progress towards gender equality, land reform, environmental protection and climate change.