The OECD recently published a paper on the use of revenues from carbon pricing, written by Melanie Marten and Kurt van Dender.
The paper collects comprehensive and detailed data on what 40 OECD and G20 economies do with the revenues from carbon taxes, emissions trading systems, and excise taxes on energy use. It notes that constraints – which can take the form of political commitments or legal earmarks – on revenue use differ between carbon taxes, emissions trading systems, and excise taxes.
Constraints are less common for excise taxes, which also raise the most revenue. Carbon tax revenues are relatively often associated with environmental tax reforms, involving reductions in personal or corporate income taxes. Revenues from emissions trading systems are frequently directed towards green spending. The results may be relevant to the political economy of ambitious carbon pricing schemes in the sense that the political expedience of choices on revenue use may depend on the amount of revenue raised.
The paper can be accessed through this link.