Alternatives to Carbon Tax
Grandma started to explain how governments around the world have tried other ways to lower levels of pollution.
“London, England has put in place a ‘congestion charge’ that makes car owners pay a fee every time they enter central London. This has lowered pollution, while at the same time made traffic easier to navigate.
Many other countries are trying something called Cap and Trade. Basically, each factory is given a cap (or limit) of how much it can pollute. Just like a cap on top of your head is the highest point of your head, this cap is the highest allowable level of pollution.
Every year this cap would come down so that companies are forced to pollute less. It’s almost like every year you are made to sit closer to the ground so that the top of the cap you are wearing is lower than the year before.
Now, if a company manages to pollute less than the level of the cap, they are able to ‘trade’ the remaining amount of allowance with another company that wasn’t so great at bringing down their pollution targets.
As the caps on all factories get lower, it becomes harder for companies to have extra ‘caps’ to trade. This means that these extra unused ‘caps’ become more precious and cost more.
Hence, if companies need to buy unused caps from others it will cost them more and lower their profits. At the same time, if companies are smart, they will always try to lower their pollution so that they have unused ‘caps’ to trade.
“What can we do to help?” asked Mira.
“Well, you already are helping by riding Luctus velo instead of driving a car. The less pollution you create, the better it is for the planet. You can tell your friends about the carbon problem and how it’s an issue that needs to be solved. Maybe together with your friends, you can think of new ways to solve this issue."
“How about if we do a little challenge?“ asked Grandma.