Should America be forced to pay a carbon tax? | The Tylt
Should America be forced to pay a carbon tax?
The Paris Agreement is a landmark treaty negotiated by 197 countries designed to reduce and mitigate climate change. The agreement has a goal of preserving the global climate below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
There are no arbitrary goals for individual countries, but rather nations are responsible for drafting sustainable, realistic plans to reduce carbon emissions and present them to the U.N. every five years. There will be an auditing system to ensure governments are not cooking the books, and financial incentives to ensure poorer nations are not disproportionately impacted. Nations are required to create an inventory system accounting for human-made emissions, which some right-leaning organizations see as just another set of onerous environmental regulations. Adding to conservatives' concerns with the deal, certain language in the agreement was deliberately drafted to avoid triggering approval by the U.S. Senate.
The U.S. is the number two polluter in the world and by exiting the agreement, America could endanger any future climate change negotiations. To prevent that from happening, several European nations are threatening costly carbon taxes on American goods—but that could potentially plunge the global economy into a trade war.
The U.S. doesn't have to do much to satisfy its end of the Paris Agreement, but if Trump pulls out, the Europeans will have few options to fight back. America is responsible for almost 18 percent of the world's carbon emissions, shouldn't it pay for the damage it wreaks on the environment?
And yet, as the independent analytical team at Climate Action Tracker (CAT) put it, “the U.S. climate plans are at the least ambitious end of what would be a fair contribution.”
This was a bad deal and America needs to be thinking about its own interests, especially while China and India continue to spew tons of carbon emissions into the air with few repercussions. Why must the U.S. be so responsible, but other nations not so much? People are hurting here, and we need to focus on our own people before we start committing to lofty, progressive pie-in-the-sky goals. Strapping businesses with more regulations is only going to hurt the American worker.
"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Mr Trump said. "We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."
Yes, but America cannot ignore its responsibility as the world's number two polluter. Operating without regard for the environment would give America an unfair competitive advantage, and thus a carbon tax is a totally appropriate response. Our planet should not be sacrificed to appease quarterly earnings expectations and self-interested shareholders.
Countries imposing costs on their own industries to control carbon emissions could tell the World Trade Organization that United States industries are operating under an unfair trade advantage by avoiding any cost for their pollution.
Why should the American people, hard-working families and entrepreneurs, be hit with a carbon tax for a deal they had no say in? This was shoved down the throats of the American people, with no respect for the Congress or the checks-and-balances that make our country great. If the U.N. wants a climate deal, it should come back to the table with a President who will bring any deal to the Senate floor for approval.
We didn't ask for this, and we didn't get a say in it.
If a deal can be reached, Obama will have to trust that Communist China — the world’s most prodigious carbon emitter — will voluntarily implement economic restraints about 30 years from now, by which time the U.S. will have to reach a 26 to 28 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. Obama will implement regulations to get that done unilaterally. So China will have more of a say in what happens to our environmental policy than Congress. Obama will also negotiate with a number of other unsavory despots, such as the homicidal Robert Mugabe, who represents the African position at the Paris negotiations. He will not, however, bring the deal to Congress, which represents the majority of the American people.
The expectations of America in regards to the Paris Agreement are peanuts. To scrap the deal out of some rigid ideology isn't just foolish, it's destructive. A potential trade war is far more damaging than forcing companies to be transparent about carbon emissions. Trump would be pissing off global superpowers like China. And France has been very specific about a 1 to 3 percent carbon tax if Trump doesn't hold up America's end of the deal.
“The Chinese are already warning that if Trump were to pull out, he would be defying the wishes of the entire planet. The Chinese are pretty clear that they have no intention of walking away,” Stern told me. “I think you’re going to see that all over, other countries are going to be furious with us. It’s not like, ‘oh, the U.S. isn’t there, we’ll go ahead anyway.’ No. They’re going to be furious, but I don’t think they’ll walk off.”
What hypocrisy! France is threatening to hit America with a carbon tax for walking out of an agreement that it refuses to honor. Again, why is America being picked on when these countries are failing to live up to their end of the bargain?
Despite the threats, even France itself isn’t complying with its own Paris global warming agreement promises. A labor union successfully pressured the French government to roll back the Paris carbon tax earlier this month, because such a tax would have shut down several coal power plants in Paris operated by its members.