There’s no denying that climate change is happening, but not all countries are taking appropriate steps to prevent it from continuing. With the U.S. having stepped back from the Paris Climate Accord during the Trump era, there’s concern that other major countries will follow suit, which would greatly limit the effectiveness of this global agreement and make it more difficult to solve the climate crisis.
What Are Energy Policies?
Energy policies are a set of measures taken by a government to ensure the production, distribution and consumption of energy meet the needs of its citizens while also having a positive impact on the environment. In recent years, many emerging nations have implemented energy policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy sources. These policies have significantly impacted global climate change, helping to slow the rate of climate change and improve air quality.
Technology is a key aspect of policy innovation and implementation. For example, blockchain technology is being utilized to incentivise crowd-grid systems in the form of both NFTs and at the protocol level.
Carbon Tax: The Solution That Doesn’t Work
A carbon tax is a fee levied on burning fossil fuels and is intended to discourage their use to mitigate climate change. The problem is, it’s not working. A study by the World Bank found that a carbon tax would need to be set at $75 per ton of CO2 to substantially impact emissions, but most countries have only implemented taxes at a fraction of that amount. One example is India, whose intention was to implement a five rupee (around 8 cents) per ton tax in 2020. Even if India were to double the price, it would still be just 16 cents for every one thousand pounds of coal burned – far too low to make any significant difference compared with coal’s average wholesale price of $47 per million British thermal units.
Cap and Trade, Emissions Trading, and the Clean Development Mechanism
Emerging nations are key players in the global climate change discussion. These nations are developing rapidly, and their energy policies greatly affect emissions. Cap and trade, emissions trading, and the clean development mechanism are all ways to help reduce emissions and fight climate change. Emissions trading is when companies get credits for how much CO2 they emit, then can sell these credits or use them to pollute more without penalty. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is an agreement where companies invest in projects that are meant to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. A major criticism of CDM is that it does not reduce emissions because the projects take place outside rich countries.
Are Renewable Sources Sustainable?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as renewable energy sources’ sustainability depends on several factors. However, in general, renewable energy sources are more sustainable than non-renewable sources, as they have a lower environmental impact and can be replenished. Even with these benefits, there are drawbacks to using them as well. For example, although wind turbines do not release any emissions or pollutants into the atmosphere when generating electricity as coal plants do, some believe that their construction has caused damage to bird populations by displacing them from their habitats.
Solar Power in India
Solar power is one of the most promising renewable energy sources. It is abundant, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. India planned to install 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2022, making it one of the world’s largest solar markets. Yet India has also developed a coal-based economy with low costs for electricity generation, which has made coal an attractive fuel choice for many households as well as industrial producers.
What Can We Do About it?
As the world becomes more industrialized, countries are looking for ways to increase production while reducing emissions. This has led to the rise of energy policies in many emerging nations. However, these policies often come at the expense of the environment. For example, Brazil has been deforesting the Amazon rainforest to make room for soybean plantations and cattle ranching. This destroys valuable ecosystems and releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As a result, climate change is becoming an increasingly pressing global issue.
We have a responsibility to act on climate change. That’s why the Paris Agreement was created, and that’s why we should still be working to implement it. But we can’t do it alone. Developing nations are responsible for a part of the world’s emissions, and they’re also the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.