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Monday, March 2, 2015

Strategic CSR - Carbon tax

The article in the url below is interesting, not because it advocates for a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions (that has been advocated by economists as the most effective tool to reduce emissions for many years), but because of the specificity of the numbers it uses to support its case:
"If a carbon tax were to be imposed next year, starting at $25 and rising by 5 percent a year, the Energy Information Administration estimates, carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants would fall to only 419 million tons by 2040, about one-fifth of where they are today. Total carbon dioxide emissions from energy in the United States would fall to 3.6 billion tons — 1.8 billion tons less than today."
The key to success is the incentive to which we, as humans, seem to respond most dramatically:
"By providing a monetary incentive, economists say, such a tax would offer by far the most effective way to encourage business and individuals to reduce their use of fossil fuels and invest in alternatives."
In spite of its probable effectiveness, we will not see a carbon tax introduced (in the US, at least) any time soon due to political constraints. What the article makes clear, however, is that this inaction is not preordained, but is a choice that we make as a society:
"Most important, perhaps, the Energy Information Administration's estimates make clear that the real constraint lies not in our ability to develop the necessary technologies but in our political will to deploy them."
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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A Carbon Tax Could Bolster Green Energy
By Eduardo Porter
November 18, 2014
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final