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The RIPE Roadmap consists of the following steps:
- Select Polluting Energy Sectors to Regulate: Electric, heat, industry and/or transportation fuels can be selected to regulate for their pollution.
- Choose Regulatory Mechanism & Price for Polluters to Pay: Pollution fee, tax, or cap can be selected as the mechanism for reducing pollution. The price of pollution can be set at the economically optimal price of pollution, or it can begin lower and rise over time until the economically efficient price. As the price of pollution increases on the energy sector, the revenue available to farmers increases.
- Allocate Funds to: Farmers for Sustainable Agriculture Investments, Household Rebates, & Other Key Priorities, such as Broadband & Economic Development. This step is the key innovation of the RIPE Roadmap in that prior climate policies gave the revenue back to polluters, while this policy gives it to constituents who are not polluting and who can contribute to pollution reduction. The specific revenue levels will be decided by the coalition. The RIPE Roadmap recommends that revenue be allocated to farmers for voluntary stewardship practices, in the range of 20-50% of revenue. Household rebates from direct energy cost increases will be compensated fully with an allocation of around 25-50% of the revenue. The remaining 10-20% of revenue can be allocated to key priorities identified by stakeholders, such as: closing the digital divide, funding vulnerable communities who live near power plants and coal mines, & economic development in urban and rural communities.
- Select Stewardship Priorities & Practices. The working group will select the priority stewardship goals for farmers to invest in, based on eco-system service values such as resilience, healthy soil, clean water, water conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, or a combination. Then practices that achieve those goals are selected to be compensated, such as these potential qualifying measures. Farmers who voluntarily conduct those qualifying measures submit their documentation, such as the EQIP protocol documentation for Farm Bill funded conservation programs, and get paid for their investments with a profit margin. In contrast to USDA conservation programs that are designed to split the costs with farmers, the RIPE Roadmap is designed to offer a profit opportunity to farmers for investing in sustainable agriculture.