Sunday, December 30, 2012

Carbon Tax Works to Make Ireland More Green

Using tax to get people to change behaviors works -- Germany has reached a tipping point with the installation of solar and other renewables by consumers. And using tax to dis-incentivize is not a new idea. Ireland, in the face of economic down-turn, set up taxes on most of the fossil fuels used by homes, offices, vehicles and farms, based on each fuel’s carbon dioxide emissions. While this drove up prices for oil, natural gas and kerosene, the result was reduced usage (economizing, as it were). Household trash is weighed at the curb, and residents are billed for anything that is not being recycled.

But the results are impressive: considered one of the E.U's highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15 percent since 2008. The Irish love their cars almost as much as Yanks, but being a small country with a large urban population, curbing use is a no-brainer.

Read more here at NYT

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