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DEBATE TOPIC While it may not be a perfect solution, a "cap and trade" scheme is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Essay Example

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Ethnic Studies

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Industrialization is an ever growing sector of the economy. More industries are built in order to look into providing the needs of human beings. Environmental pollution is the talk of the day in the recent past due to the continued gas emission into the environment. The cap and trade scheme, an environmental policy, seeks to reduce the amount of pollutants in any form to the environment. The policy first demands that limits (“cap”) on certain types of emissions area set, with respect to the industry or source of emissions. After setting the limits, trading (“trade”) involves laying down strategies on how the industry will reduce the emissions of pollutants, and selling the strategies to other sectors that are seeking on appropriate methods of reducing pollution of the environment (Lawrence 2010, p. 3). Greenhouses have in the years been praised for efficiency and productivity of agricultural products. Greenhouses however, also contribute to global warming due to the emissions of gases into the environment. These gases include Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide and Ozone. The cap and trade policy have been praised by many states for its convenience and efficiency. Some of these states have taken a step forward in implementing the policy into a law. The question is whether this policy helps reduce emissions of gases.

The cap and trade approach suits best in an industry when:

  • The environmental and public health is of concern over a relatively large area. However, the area of focus should not be a single state or place

  • A lot of sources, specifically industries are responsible for the emission of poisonous gases to the environment

  • The cost of controls varies from source to source

  • Emissions can be consistently and accurately measured. The amount of the gases emitted to the environment can be measured especially for bigger industries like manufacturing and processing industries.

As a policy, cap and trade places strict measures against releasing poisonous gases into the environment. Greenhouses do release gases into the environment. These gases, however, add almost an insignificant amount of poisonous gases. There are a lot of industries out there that gives out very dangerous gases. Sulphur Dioxide (So2) is an example of a poisonous gas that greatly leads to global warming. Instead of imposing the cap and trade policy on the greenhouses, the economies should be more concerned with bigger industries that emit a lot of poisonous gases. These include most of the processing and manufacturing industries (Lawrence 2010, p. 13).

Despite their efforts of reducing carbon emissions, cap and trade in a way aim at exploiting various sectors including greenhouses. Greenhouses emit an insignificant percentage of gases into the environment, imposing a tax on them would only be exploiting them and not fair at all. Various parties including James Hansen have openly opposed the policy. In 2008, He suggested that; “Cap and trade» generates special interests, lobbyists, and trading schemes, yielding non-productive millionaires, all at public expense. The public is fed up with such business. Tax with 100 percent dividend, in contrast, would spur the economy, while aiding the disadvantaged, the climate, and national security”.

Buying of the emission allowance is in one way or the other a way of imposing taxes on businesses. The direct impact of this will be an increase in the prices of the commodities or products that the industry deals with. The greenhouse lies under the agriculture sector. Some of the agricultural products that are consumed now were at one time priceless. That is, long before the introduction of the cap and trade policies; and other tax schemes that have been imposed on the agricultural sector. If this behavior continues, then we shall have the cost of the agricultural products rise more and more than what we have at the moment. Running a greenhouse is expensive since it involves more complex and sophisticated agricultural methods like constant provision of water among others. Since they have to pay more for emitting gases to the environment, then they will therefore, increase the prices of their commodities in a way that will accommodate for the tax they are paying (Lawrence 2010, p. 6). The effect of increasing prices of most basic commodities will not end in building the economy of a state and instead affect it negatively.

A lot of world economies do not mainly have a lot of greenhouses as their main source of economic generator. African countries, for example, have wide tracts of lands that are mainly used for farming and compared with countries like United States they have a significant number of greenhouses. Greenhouses are therefore, not spread widely over the world. The amount of gases that are emitted in a greenhouse is never measurable since it is an insignificant amount of gases.

The cap and trade do not work out efficiently for a greenhouse. Despite the fact that a greenhouse releases some gases into the environment, a greenhouse should be considered as a backbone of a country’s economy. It is easier for one to plant and produce agricultural products in a greenhouse than working in a real field. The policy will work perfectly well for bigger and larger industries that contribute by a significant amount to global warming. Therefore, world economies should look for other policies of preventing pollution for a greenhouse apart from the cap and trade policy.

Reference List

Lawrence, H 2010, Using Cap and Trade to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Washington

DC, Stanford University Press.