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Carbon Tax Systems
America is the leading country in terms of CO2 emission per year with 21%. Europe has the highest combined amount of CO2 emission, thus, EU should put more emphasis on nations that have not developed Carbon tax systems to introduce them and also encourage its members to exploit other forms of energy that are much environmental friendly.
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High global population has increased the demand for both primary and secondary commodities. Production of these goods is demanding fuels to energize the industries that produce these products. Due to development in technology, transport sector is also consuming substantial amount of global fuels to transport people to their places of work. Most of the global machines are run on fossil fuels; this explains the high level of Carbon dioxide from the earth’s surface everyday.
For a long time, carbon dioxide was being exhausted into the atmosphere without anyone raising alarm, concern was raised when the global climatic conditions started changing for the worse this was a reflection of the high amount of green house gases that had already found their way into the sky long before any concerns were raised (Dortch 5). Any addition of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere has detrimental effects on the global climate; it is at this point that it was recommended that for every tonne of fossil combusted, an industrialist should pay a levy to carter for the costs of reversing the effects of carbon that the industry sends into the atmosphere.
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Even as greenhouse effects continue to increase, very few people seem to understand what this might translate into if urgent measures are not put into place to counter the damages that have already been done to the atmosphere (Bita 1). Greenhouse gases form a blanket in the atmosphere and prevent heat that is reflected from the earth’s surface from getting into the troposphere resulting in a rise of the average global temperature. Rising global temperature is interfering with the natural phenomenon; icecaps are melting down and consequently a rise in the ocean tides. Climatic conditions in most parts of the world have not been spared; heavy rainfalls have been witnessed in most parts of the world and abnormally hot sunshine. The high temperatures are increasing the rate of desertification. Greenhouse gas detrimental results to the environment, some of the effects are highlight below;
Effects on Humans
Increasing heat in the globe will make people fall ill due to heat stresses and exposure to UV- rays and other cancerous rays. In fact cases of skin cancer have been on the increase in the recent years. Prevalence of other disease and ailments has also been increasing in the recent years. High temperatures are conducive for bleeding of malaria causing mosquitoes, other diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis are also on the rise.
Weather on the globe will be altered with countries such as Australia expected have temperature increases of about 6°C by the year 2100 (Bita 2006). Agriculture will be affected with many areas that depend on irrigation will dry as most snowcaps that supply the areas with water unable to withstand the temperatures, they will melt and thus the desert regions will not have water supplies. As the temperatures increases, crop diseases are also expected to increase and reduce food production around the globe (Dortch 5).
Due to the increasing rate of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere, there is need to manage the amount of carbon dioxide that finds its way into the atmosphere. Governments should set target for emissions that a country/ sector should not surpass annually, if the country/sector exceeds this set value they should be made to compensate for the excess quantities of carbon dioxide they emitted into the atmosphere (Prasad 23). The portions of money derived from the carbon taxies should be distributed to countries that are faced with risks emanating from CO2 pollution of the environment and any excesses should be used in the rehabilitation of degenerated land that are results of global warming (Vourc’h and Martin 23).
As a part of the green energy agenda the European Union is planning unify the Carbon tax levied to the member countries. The EU is working on a reversed energy tax that will apply to all its members.
A carbon tax is a levy that is charged to industrialist for pollution of the environment and is responsible for the reconstruction of the damages caused by carbon emission from the industries. The collections from the industrialists is then distributed to the countries that mostly affected by the carbon emission to compensate citizens that may fall ill due inhalation of contaminated air. From the same kit governments of countries that are affected by excessive emission of carbon dioxide into their atmosphere are compensated to enable they undertake recovery processes (Hoeller and Wallin 92).
Carbon atoms are exhausted from coal, natural gas and petroleum driven industries in large quantities. When these substances are combusted they produce energy and carbon dioxide CO2 amongst other effluent gases. Industries that use non combustion sources of energy are not required to pay the carbon tax as their contribution to environmental pollution are regarded to be dismal. Carbon tax should be imposed to all industrial combustion of the carbon containing fuels and should be charged according to the levels of carbon contents in the fuels. If these levies are strictly imposed they can increase the activities directed towards the exploitation of other sources of energy and thereby reduce global warming and the detrimental results that come with it.
Carbon dioxide emitted from the earth’s surface is the main contributor to global warming. In the recent years, especially in the last four decades the industrial activities have increased tremendously with a renew industrialization. Population explosions in most parts of the world have increased demand for both basic and secondary needs, this has pushed the industrials to increase their production to the extremes, and energy demand has increased forcing oil exploitation to increase in all oil rich areas. According to statistics, more than 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere from the earth’s surface every year (Vourc’h and Martin 25).
The rate of increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be approximated the energy balance between the earth and the atmosphere as witnessed by the changes in the atmospheric conditions around the globe. Imposing carbon tax is one of the ways that can be used to regulate carbon emission into the atmosphere (Vourc’h and Martin 25). Kyoto protocol has well laid structures that should be enforced in the regulation of Carbon dioxide and other GHGs gases. Every country is allowed a certain amount of emission per year and if they exceed these amounts they are required to pay for the damages caused.
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Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to global warming and pollution of air. An imbalance is created when trees are cut down and then burn to add up to the atmospheric CO2. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased tremendously in the last 150 years, he carbon level in the atmosphere in 1850 was 280 rpm and in 1998 it was about 364 rpm this increase can be attributed to increased human activities. Carbon concentration in the atmosphere has been increasing at the rate of 1.5 particles per million a year in the recent years. The level of emission was 1.6 billion tons in 1950 and by 1977 the level rose to 4.9 billion tons. The highest contributor of CO2 is the transport system that emits about 25%, the next on line is industrial CO2 and residential (Hepburn 230).
Carbon taxes unlike other taxies is imposed on transactions not products, it is also referred to as instrument price as it is charged for the effects of carbon dioxides, and it is paid after the emission not before the emission as it is difficult to estimate the amounts of emissions before they happen (Hepburn 233). The tax is supposed to be high as it is meant to compensate victims that have no interest in the processes that result in the emissions.
Engaging the parties involved in pollution was becoming impossible after they had already caused damage to the environment, economists thus proposed a tax to be imposed on the fuels that were used in the production of goods, this tax is equivalent to the marginal damages resulting from the emission and is also referred to as Pigovian tax (Hepburn 237).
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The Piogu’s framework should not be exaggerated as to cause distortion to the economy, and at the same time the marginal should be sufficient to compensate the catastrophic effects that might ensue from continued emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If the marginal is insufficient, the future might be at stake with a lot efforts expected to be directed toward the restoration of the dilapidated environment. More effort should be directed towards establishment of criterion that will ensure that a balance between restoration and emission of green house gases is stricken. Other measures should be put into place to encourage the investors in various industries find other forms of energy for their industrial usage and reduce emission of destructive gases into the atmosphere.
The cost of carbon based fuels is expected to continue skyrocketing as more and more countries seek to be industrialized, these efforts are not by any chance putting into consideration the effects that will come with introduction of more industries and thus more emission into the atmosphere. If carbon tax is maintained high industrialist will tend to invest in other non polluting forms of energy and thereby save the environment.
Social Cost of Carbon
Combustion of fuels rich in carbon has many social effects. The Social Cost of carbon is equivalent to cost of tonnes combusted at anyone time. When calculation the Social Cost of Carbon, one has to factor in the time duration over which the emission has been taking place and the effects that the CO2 has had on the atmosphere. Social Cost of Carbon seeks to establish the effect of combustion of a tonne of fossil fuel. Economic theory suggests that the emissions permits be issued with costs to cover Social Cost of Carbon. Currently there are no modalities for estimating effects of Carbon in the atmosphere and as a result Social Cost of Carbon is often not factored in during compensation of the other economic factors.
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The current methods being used for estimation of the Social Costs of Carbon are not certain, the value that was being applied in the year 2005 was $43/tC and it had a deviation of about $80/tC. The high value of standard deviation can be explained by the uncertainties that surround climatic conditions around the globe. There are other estimates of Social Costs of Carbon that factors at least three orders and ranges from figures below $1/tC to more than $1,500/tC, in reality the value of Social Cost of Carbon is expected to continue increasing with time an might increase at rate of between 2 and 4 percent per annum.
Carbon leakage is the imbalances that occur in the amount of carbon emitted by one county or sector compared to another whose carbon emission is managed by different regulations. Leakages can be either negative or positive, Spill over occurs when the sector/country has negative leakage. Judgments cannot be based on short term leakages but analysts should compile long term leakage results to make any conclusions and recommendations.
Short term leakage were used when policies where being formulated and it was recommended that the developed countries should pay carbon taxes and the developing countries, later the developing countries might surpass the carbon leakages of the developed countries, this might call for reversal of the previous decision which might be easy to achieve. CO2 emission might reduce as many countries move from coal to oil and gas which have higher calorific values and thus produces less amounts of carbon dioxide on combustion. But eradicating carbon dioxide emission from the surface of the earth is still not envisaged to happen in the near future.
Adjustment of Border, Tariffs and Bans
Concerns have been raised about the effects that ensue when one country advocates for carbon taxing systems while another country doesn’t (Gupta 2007). Policies that have been proposed will ensure all countries incorporate carbon tax in their systems. If this is not done, it will create an unfair trading environment as the countries that pay carbon will need to compete with countries that do not pay the carbon tax .Thus, the international community should regulate the amount of Carbon dioxide emission by forcing all countries to participate in Carbon taxation; this can be effectively achieved by banning countries that refuse to comply from trading with other countries or applying different tariff on this countries. Currently there are no specific rules that govern world climate through taxation.
Industrialization was an important transformation in human’s history as it brought about civilization. Most of the products we cherish in life today are products of industrialization; however everything that has pros must have some cons. The cost of industrialization is proving to be very expensive, the high global population cans attributed to industrialization. All the current problems are products of industrialization. If the progressively increasing level of CO2 in the atmosphere is to e reversed, it will call for sacrifices from every nation to divert from fossil fuels and find other alternative sources of fuel
The European community has an obligation of ensuring every state in this region complies with the Carbon control regulations. It also encourage countries to invest in other energy resources, it can give incentive to countries that show commitment in replacement of fossil fuels with other sources of energy.
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