Write an evaluation in which you describe and analyze a local community environmental management decision…………….
California is one of America’s most popular state has been in the forefront of the struggle to achieve better environmental management policies having adopted the toughest restrictions on auto pollution a few decades back. Being a large state, the impact of its decisions has effects that surpass its borders, pushing other states to step up to its level.
What are the relevant values of ecosystem variation due to any local climate change California?
The change in the California climate has been studied by scientists from learning institutions and government agencies. According to Climate Change Effects In California (2009), the level of carbon in the atmosphere is feared to be even higher that the projections made in 2006. Resultant effects such as increase in the demand for energy, the economic growth rate, diminishing water sources, higher temperatures, increase in the number of wildfires, and the rise in the sea water level have all been keenly studied. They all indicate a deteriorating environmental status and project even worse effects in the near future.
The state of California has in the recent past undertaken new measures to cut down its green house emissions. According to Tohill (2011), the state’s approach involves capping over 600 industrial plants and giving companies the right to buy and sell permits as an incentive to cut down on their level of carbon emissions. The ‘cap-and-trade’ program is set to take effect in the year 2013. The delay in the implementation of the program is as a result of lawsuits filed against California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) claiming that the program was susceptible to fraud. The ‘cap-and-trade’ program will make California the largest carbon market in the whole of North America and is expected to gross $10 billion through trading. The state hopes to set an example for others to follow on measures that can be adopted to stop global warming and at the lowest possible cost.
There will however, be implications to adopting this strategy both to the economy and social aspect of the California residents. The transport sector will experience a huge impact as cars will become expensive and the cost of gasoline formulated to emit lower carbon levels will go up. The public transport system will be revamped and more housing facilities will be built near schools to save fuel on commuting (Ball, 2009). It will lead to a general decline in the use of motor vehicles.
The concept of buying and selling permits will change the reduction of greenhouse gases from being an entirely environmental issue to an economic aspect as well. This will see corporations get involved in the initiative to reduce their carbon emissions in order to sell their cap margin to other corporations. This will commercialize the concept, hence reducing the political funding initially allocated to environmental preservation. The option to buy out of the cap however has residents concerned that corporations will opt to write a check rather than clean up their act or face any legal action.
The social status will also see a change in the cars the residents drive with hybrid cars and those with low fuel consumption increasing in showrooms. Homes will also be furnished with energy efficient equipment will also cost more due to the increased use or renewable resources after the adoption of the policy. But Air Resource Board chairwoman Mary Nichols assures the public that the plan would save their businesses money in the long term (Young, 2008)
What are the cost-benefit analysis and the no-action alternative?
A comparison between the Cap-and-Trade policy and the Carbon taxation has raised numerous discussions on their viability with some environmentalists picking the carbon tax system. Others argue that the cap-and -trade in itself serves to regulate the carbon levels in the same way as the carbon tax since in both approaches the fuel levels increase, leading to a decrease in its consumption.
Both methods achieve the same level of increased efficiency at the minimal cost possible. They only differ in distribution of their implications. The cap-and-trade cost is lower to the firm. The government earns tax revenue with a carbon tax policy. The firms therefore have an incentive to adopt the cap-and-trade over the carbon tax while the government would prefer the carbon tax in order to generate revenue. The government will still have to incur the opportunity cost of the fuel consumption foregone due to the increased prices.
Both methods lead to the same result and therefore are at par on the benefit scale. The end effect is the reduction of the carbon level in the state of California.
With the realization of this fact, the choice of method to adopt would therefore depend on the decision maker who will tend to go for the method that costs him less. Company owners will favor the cap-and-trade model whilst the public will lean towards the Carbon Tax model.
The postponement of the implementation of the policy to reduce carbon emission is affecting the economy aversely. Any delay in environmental conservation and is a step towards economic instability. Its will cripple the country’s important sectors and cost its citizens billions of dollars. Prompt implementation is of paramount importance to save the environment and preventive measures need to be adopted immediately. We simply cannot afford to wait!Top of Form
Ball, A. M. (2009) Cap-and-Trade: Five Implications for Transportation Planners Retrieved 10 Feb. 2012 from http://www.stanford.edu/~adammb/Publications/Millard-Ball_Cap_and_Trade_and_Transportation_Planning_Nov08.pdf
Climate Change Effects In California-Science Daily (2009, April). Retrieved 10 Feb. 2012 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401182835.htm
Tohill, J. (2011, May). California Delays Controversial Carbon Trading Program Until 2013-The 9 Billion. Retrieved 10 Feb. 2012 from http://www.the9billion.com/2011/07/05/california-delays-controversial-carbon-trading-program-until-2013/
Young, S. (2008, November). California Carbon Credit Market Just Part Of Sweeping Plan– Huff Post. Retrieved 10 Feb. 2012 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/11/california-carbon-credit-_n_150195.html
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