We have forced ourselves into a situation where we need to act on climate change. Earth by itself has an amazingly wonderful capability to maintain diversity and at the same time balance it precisely. But, in the last few decades, due to technological revolution and continuous appetite for a better quality of life we have forced it to shift away from its balancing point.
The unfortunate thing about earth’s climatic change is that it takes about 30 years to reflect. We could argue that we didn’t know about the damage we were causing 30 years ago. But we can’t go on saying that now. Though the result of whatever we decide to do today to offset climate change can only be felt and seen in 30 years time, we don’t have much choice (Check out this link if you want to know what you can do to help : Karthik Raj G: 51 steps to go green)
Of course, following these simple steps would help, but it will in no way create a major reversal of climate to the 1900s in the near future. In order to achieve a major change we probably need some innovative solutions.
We have taxes for all things that need maintenance and improvement – road tax, public service tax, value added tax, etc. then why don’t governments tax us for maintaining the environment? Is it because it came for free?
Though some countries have various forms of carbon tax like taxing vehicles that have high CO2 emissions and so on, not many countries have taken bold moves to introduce carbon tax on all CO2 generating products.
Carbon tax can help us offset the amount of CO2 generated by investing in recycling and reducing deforestation and encouraging natural reserves. But at this economic climate, it is unfair to expect people to be taxed any further. So what’s the way forward?
Carbon Credits and Debits
Carbon credits and debits are an alternate to encourage people to become environmental friendly. Let us say, each product that is sold in this world is given CO2 rating points based on their impact on the environment. For example, plant seeds will have carbon credits while tyres will have carbon debits.
Every month, just like how a credit card bill is generated, a carbon bill can be generated and a sum of money that equates to the carbon credits held for the month needs to be paid back to the government. The government or any private firm would invest this money to restore the environment back to its natural state.
Buying and selling credits
This system can also be expanded to buy and sell credits. Companies that emit a lot of CO2 can buy credits from individuals, which they will accumulate by growing plants in their own garden. These companies can pay them money for their carbon credit instead of paying the government.
Goods carrying carbon data
Almost all food products sold today have by default the nutritional information printed. This idea can be extended to providing CO2 information. Let us say all products carry a number (positive and negative based of CO2 generated or offset) on their package that says the amount of CO2 impact.
Then this number can be fed into the bar-code along with the price information and CO2 credits will appear as a total figure in your shopping bill.
Like the way financial credit history is shared, companies can share carbon credit history between each other enabling the system to associate a single carbon credit number per person or a family.
These credits or debits can be stored in the web cloud, thereby providing instant access to information by the individual whenever needed.
This is wonderful because in future, we might be able to take decisions to buy something not just based on our bank balance but also based on carbon credits/debits we possess.
Let’s get together, shall we?
A problem like climate change is not very easy to solve because most of the time, the generation that caused it doesn’t feel the complete impact. But with understanding and reasoning we might be able to do better to solve this problem.
After all, quality of life means nothing when we thrive at other being’s expense. Quality of life is all about mutual existence and harmony. And the only way to achieve it is to work together – from big corporations to individuals – on problems that we face.