Essay on Carbon Tax vs. Cap and Trade

1290 Words 6 Pages
“All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.” BARACK OBAMA, speech, Apr. 3, 2006. Climate change is not a theory contrary to what many individuals believe and is in fact confirmed by major scientific agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States. Global Warming causes are mainly due to greenhouse gases …show more content…
Government enacted solutions are probably the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions and to control pollution since unfortunately the majority of individuals mainly act to their own self-interest and are not concerned with the future of the planet. This is a prime example of the tragedy of the commons, which is the exploitation of a common resource. In this case the common resource is the atmosphere. The first method proposed is the carbon cap trade system. The term cap means the limit or the maximum of the amount of pollutant to be emitted. A trade refers to the transfer of permits that have to be bought by firms that need to increase their volume of emissions from firms that require fewer permits 1. The carbon tax method is a tax on the carbon content of fuels — effectively a tax on the carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels 2. So, which system would be best for the government to enact to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere? First we should understand how the carbon cap and trade system came about. The system of carbon cap trade used to be known as ‘emissions trading’, the alliance of free-market republicans and renegade environmentalists got the system adopted as national law in 1990 as a part of the Clean Air Act, to control the power-plant pollutants that cause acid rain, which is triggered by vast clouds of sulfur dioxide
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