Nowadays there are increasing levels of pollution, both from the increasing number of industries and household activities in the world. The international community is paying much attention to these alarming rates of pollution. Many countries have devised methods to try and control the pollution levels in their atmospheres. Obviously, the imposing of fines may help the entire world’s condition from the ecological point of view. Green tax is the only way to improve the ecological situation in the whole wide world.
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Green taxes are the environmental excise taxes that may help to protect the environment from pollutions and emissions that lead different types of disaster. It is not a secret that imposing a tax on households or firms that are likely to cause harmful emissions is better than dealing with the consequences of the pollution. This in-direct tax generally tries to change the behaviors of the environmental polluters and create favorable living conditions for all.
Pollution is a process of production of goods and services which effect harms the general public inform of environmental damage such as odors, health complications and negative climatic changes. The most common environmental tax is connected with the task of ensuring that these polluters are fined appropriately for their harmful emissions to the atmosphere. Many countries and organizations have come up with different taxes to curb environmental pollution. Here is a brief list of general types of these taxes.
Indirect taxes or indirect polices are not very helpful, e.g. increasing gasoline prices to reduce automobile emissions will cause the drivers foregoing their vehicles and using public transportation that indirectly reduces the pollution.
Direct taxes are more effective as other kinds of taxes because they make the polluters keep to an order. Failure which they would have to pay heavy taxes were imposed by the governmental regulatory bodies.
Another example is the direct emission taxes which are less costly than direct tax. They oblige the producers to make a budgetary analysis of their emissions as compared to the tax they are likely to experience. In most of times the sanction is greater than the obligation they have to forego and, thus, they end up producing less harmful emissions.
Subsidies for emission are also very popular, however, there are different from the emission taxes allowing the manufacturer to be a part of a particular subsidized group where each member has an obligation to make emissions. This does not improve the situation since all members will release and at the end of it all net pollution will not reduce.
The permit schemes introduced a few years ago; and they can take the place of green taxes. One can apply for these tradable permits in government offices. They come with a fixed allowance for the percentage of toxic emissions each firm can release to the atmosphere. These permits are however, tradable among their holders.
Those that have fewer emissions than their permit allows can trade off their permit to the producers with a lesser provision. This will not reduce the pollution as the leading polluters will pay for more permits. Below is an overview of the different green taxes around the globe (Martin 2005). The table below shows the fixed fees for such pollutants in USA.
|pollutant||Fee per discharged ton|
|Nitrogen oxide||$ 8.20|
|Sulfur oxides||$ 7.45|
The USA has no defined green taxes; they have programs that regulate the pollution. Some of the most successful programs include Clean Air Act’s Source Performance Standards (NSPS) they mainly regulate stationary polluters. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulates the emissions by automobiles.
There are other programs at the federal level such as the gas guzzler standards that govern the consumptions by new vehicles, which consume a lot of fuels. There are also taxes on the deletion of the ozone layer and other regulations on fertilizers and insecticides.
Other prospects include gasoline tax, where the government gives an allowance on the price per barrel of fuel. This leaves room for adjustment during inflation and has continually changed over the years. There have been conflicts among economists as to whether to view gasoline tax as a green tax. Some argue it should be considered as a green tax since more than 70% of the net tax in America goes to road constructions which will eventually lead to more automobile emissions as most citizens will buy cars (Martin 2005).
The government and municipal councils have taxes and fees like the deposit-return program for automobile parts and beverage containers recycle; others like municipal waste recycle programs and pay as per bag charges for waste disposal. These programs are more effective than green taxes in many countries all over the world. This due to the superiority of the government over the people (Mikhail1994).
Many European countries have green taxes for much different pollution as compared to the USA, most countries in Europe deal in manufacturing and thus the governments have to be highly alert to prevent these industries from emitting a lot of pollutants. They have many regulations on air pollutants such as carbon di-oxide and nitrogen oxide.
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Most of these regulations are made by the European Union in the cap and trade system which aims at reaching the limits set on green house emissions agreed upon in the Kyoto protocol.
This taxes constitute 5% of the GDP of these European countries that makes up an extremely vital part of the economy. This has been consistent over the years and many argue that these policies should be changed with the continuing changing trends in the economy.
The above chart shows the level of emissions that these countries produce per year as from 2008 to date. These pollutants show how the difference between the industries in these countries.
Europeans define pollution as an act that has proven negative impact on the environment at large. The definition thus incorporates the taxes on energy and transportation that that were not formerly included. Leaving a small portion for normal taxes. (Tyler 2009).
Some of the taxes above are particularly effective while others are not, this mostly depend on the nature of the penalty imposed if one violates the regulations stated in the provision. In the case of soft penalties, we find that a lot of firms and households will ignore the rules but in the case where tough penalties are imposed, there is minimal violation of the regulations. The governments thus is obliged to come up with tough penalties to ensure that the citizens abide by the rules.
(NSPS) their regulations are highly effective and help reduce air pollution in USA the manufacturers are aware of the consequences they will face if they pollute, the government also plays a significant role in the implementation of this programs thus making it hard for the corrupt manufacturers to evade the law.
(CAFÉ) program is highly vital on matters to do with auto mobile fuel consumption, they regulate the petroleum agencies and the fuel they import to the country to prevent them from importing sub standard fuels that will lead to air pollution when used in automobiles. They also help in the control of the different types of vehicles used; diesel engine vehicles and petrol engine vehicle are the most common with the diesel engine ones being more pollutant.
The gasoline tax has also proved to be remarkably effective as the government can control the fuel prices even during inflation. It leaves room for the increase in prices and this helps the citizens to easily adapt to the rules the price per barrel does not vary much as the government tries to subsidize (Clifford 1974). The table below shows the fuel consumption in USA.
|electricity||672 KWh||$ 13.13|
|Natural Gas||165 Mcf||$ 14.73|
Deposit-return program aids in the recycle of used products thus reducing pollution. The used products can be recycled and converted to other new and useful products. Others like beverage bottles can be used for the same purpose; thus saving the manufactures the cost of making new bottles as recycling will be much cheaper.
European cap regulations help to reduce the nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions in the air; this is a substantial boost depending on the nature of the manufacturing industries in the area. Europe’s economy is in a large percentage comprised of these products and so they have to avoid too much regulation; which may lead, to an economic set back.
On the other hand, they have to protect their citizens from pollution. This show the enormous responsibility the European Union has of balancing this two factors to ensure no exceeds the other.
Automobile regulation does not effectively work since even after people abandon their cars to use public transport, the public transport will end up using more fuel as the number of customers will increase. This will end up balancing the equation as the buses will end up using the fuel that the personal cars would have used (Mikhail 2004).
What Canada can learn from these countries? Some of the policies do not work while others do. Canada should try and employ the air pollution regulations in order to prevent nitrogen and CO2 emissions to the atmosphere which will eventually lead to global warming.
The Canadian government should also consider the automobile policies that govern the use of off road worthy vehicles. They should adopt the tradable permit schemes to control the industries pollution levels.
The government should also apply strict rules and impose stiff penalties on those who do not adhere to this rules and regulations. The constitution should also include clauses that govern the taxes they put in place.
The environment is hugely beneficial to all of us starting with personal and household discipline to help protect it; everyone has an obligation to ensure that the area around them is conserved may it be your home or school.
Too many emissions of nitrogen and CO2 will lead to global warming which is extremely dangerous to the mankind. We should also avoid cutting down forests as they help attract rains for farmers to grow crops.
The governments in all countries should come up with measures to ensure that anyone caught polluting the environment should pay heavy fines. It is very important for the Government to indulge in programs that help educate the general public on the importance of environmental conservation.
Bruno, S. (2002). Air pollution modeling and simulation. Texas: Springer.
Clifford & Jean, W. (1971). Ecocide thoughts towards survival. California: Centre For Study Of Democratic Institutions.
International Energy Agency. (2005). Energy Price and Taxes. OECDiLibrary, 2005, 2.
Martin, E. (2005). Theory of environmental taxes and agreements. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Mikail, S. (1994). Governance by green taxes: Making pollution pay. London: Manchester University Press.
Sven, O. R. (1994). Environmental management handbook. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Tyler, G., & Scott, P. (2009). Environmental science, Cengage learning. USA: Stamford.