The climate crisis has become a global concern. Now more than ever, initiatives must be drafted and implemented to mitigate, curb, and permanently resolve environmental issues. This includes forest fires in the American continent, increasing sea levels and glacier retreat in the northern hemisphere, and depleting ozone in the southern hemisphere triggered by the Greenhouse effect has brought a negative feedback loop on the biotic component of the planet. Due to this, modern civilization dreams of establishing a sustainable environment that does not influence nature or harm the ecology. While this goal will take some time, there needs to be a pathway based to make it a reality and take gradual steps toward it. This makes one wonder about the need for environment-driven taxes and their effectiveness.
For this very reason, there is a need to draft or implement environment-driven taxes by Policy Makers who are seeking to make a difference in society. The problem with human society is that everything is taken for granted. For instance, the air is freely available, and no taxation is involved in its usage. Hence, while affecting the environment, humans are not conscious of the effect of this freely available resource. On the other hand, if one implements eco-taxes, people start getting conscious and use resources at a limit. Therefore, this can prove to be an excellent strategy for reversing the effects of climate change and promoting sustainable living.
Understanding the grim situation and the need for climate control
Climate control has become the need of the hour. If things are left untouched or progress the way they are, Earth will be in the clutches of inevitable damage and triggering devastating effects. For instance, countries are becoming conscious of contributing to their fair share of environmental carbon emissions by implementing the Carbon tax. This makes organizations, industries, and manufacturers compliant with climate protocols and works for the greater good. However, some countries are still leading in emitting carbon dioxide in disguise to reach their developed nation target.
Fact: According to Statista, Uruguay pays the highest carbon tax of about 137 USD metric tons of Carbon emission equivalence.
What objectives are achieved with eco-taxes?
Policymakers have had their reasons for introducing eco-taxes and integrating them with the country’s legislation. With environment-driven taxes, the following objectives are achieved;
1. Conscious use of natural resources can be established.
2. Energy saving and the use of renewable sources can be promoted.
3. Companies are motivated by the innovation of sustainability in internal policies.
4. Government benefitted by getting an income source and reaching its global climate change goals.
5. Organizations start thinking of environment protection and ecology restoration.
6. Awareness is established among corporate leaders and individuals at the top of the organization chart, which is passed down to the masses.
7. People start using resources carefully.
8. Anti-ecological behavior is put to an end.
9. Work towards a decarbonized economy in the world.
10. To reverse the drastic effects of global warming-induced climate change.
Proposed environment-driven taxes
Here are some environment-driven taxes that are already being put into use by counties all over the globe. Eco taxes have become a norm in many countries post the Paris Summit, and environmental activities seek the government’s action on this situation.
1. Carbon Tax
Policymakers draft carbon taxes to curb CO2 emissions. Companies that surpass the stipulated carbon emission limit have to pay additional taxes. This Carbon tax has become a norm in many countries, especially the Nordic countries of Sweden and Finland.
2. Refund of plastic Deposit
Again, European countries like Ireland and Germany have a system of giving back the plastic deposit amount when returned. This is called “Pfand” in Germany. Therefore, citizens are encouraged in waste management and recycling.
3. Landfill Tax
The landfill tax was an initiative taken by the UK twenty-five years ago to reduce waste in landfills. This tax was a driving force in reducing waste in the country. Data suggests that over 40 million tons of waste have been reduced with this initiative.
4. Nitrogen Tax
This nitrogen tax was introduced in Sweden in the year 1995 and had the objective of reducing nitrogen in the atmosphere. Due to this Nitrogen tax, there was an increase in revenue of about 1 billion Euros in 2016.
5. Fishing License for Ecology Protection
With fishing licenses introduced in Alaska, Ireland, and other fishing countries, schools of salmon had been preserved as raid fishing caused the reduction of salmon in the river. This promoted ecology restoration with active participation from citizens.
6. Penalty for Harming Environment
There are also penalties introduced for hunting animals, cutting down trees, and other anti-ecology actions. Laws have been drafted to promote harmony with the environment, contributing to a better future.
Many taxations and laws are introduced to protect the environment. It makes one wonder whether environment-driven taxes are a smokescreen for capitalists to keep harming the environment. Therefore, the question arises are policymakers benefitting from it, or is the environment?
For starters, policymakers can earn significant revenue with environmental taxes in place. For instance, according to statistics, the UK government generated a revenue of more than 45.7 billion British pounds with environmental taxes imposed on organizations. This shifts the perspective that money cannot define the damage done to the environment. Think of it like this! Does hurting someone and paying for damages in cash be an effective recovery solution? Of course not! An action or punishment should be demanded that is both taxing and that organizations can take it seriously.
While some organizations have taken environment-driven taxes seriously, others have not taken this situation seriously and are paying taxes without guilt for harming the environment. While policymakers are benefiting from these taxes, the Earth is still in dire need of a solution where everyone knows they are in this together.