Greenhouse gases (GHGs) have people of recent generations worried about the health of our planet. Almost every week, we hear about contributions that political leaders of countries try to make to address the daunting elephant in the room. But as our world continues along its current path, the thought of operating without any emissions seems quite challenging.

What if we had a system that could penalize those emitting more than others? Well, you’re on the right track because some individuals in Australia had the thought of creating this intriguing concept of a carbon tax. A carbon tax is to appeal to big companies as a financial incentive to reduce large-scale emissions by imposing a cost based on carbon-based fuel output. This new concept made its way into the Clean Energy Act 2011 which was administered in July 2012 by the Gillard Government in Australia.

With the implementation of the carbon tax, Australia began to see reductions in gas emissions from various sectors: quite a success story. It wasn’t until other nations saw the benefit and wanted to jump on the bandwagon and implement it themselves. Focusing in on Canada, talks about introducing a carbon tax have sprung up resolute debates in the last couple of years. The primary goal of country’s is to rid of GHGs as efficiently as possible. This is, so the threat of climate change and global warming doesn’t present peril to humanity and all possible life on Earth.

With such a large scale and controversial issue like this one, there are often two sides of a coin, both with valid arguments. Firstly, we should note that some items that we use on a day-to-day basis have most possibly originated from a facility that emits GHGs on a mass scale. For consumers, this means that increases in prices of food items and coveted items could very well be observed. If we talk a closer look on the flip side to this issue, we see the incentive of improving the health of our planet which holds value in the long term. Not only are we to preserve the wellbeing of Earth but it is for the betterment of future generations that we acknowledge and do our best to take care of our shortcomings.

In Canada, there are many forms of this carbon policy that are in play for this overall desired outcome. For those provinces that are dominated by people (e.g., Ontario and Quebec) a cap and trade system has been put into effect. Others like B.C. and Alberta have varying proclamations of their own.

The cap and trade system is one that is fair in its policy. As interpreted by the name, a cap is meant to set a limit to the emission of GHGs. The ‘cap’ is reduced every year, as expected, to ease into the reduction of cumulative emissions.

Now, another part of this system is the trade aspect of the agreement. Companies can choose to purchase “units” or “credits” to cover the overages in emissions if they exist. However, as per the say of companies, these units can be purchased by other companies if one has successfully lowered its GHGs emissions.

Within the last month, it would be fair to say that discussions have taken place to address this critical concept, especially in this day and age. And this isn’t only in Canada but also all over the world. Furthermore, this carbon policy and carbon tax notion isn’t the sole idea to change lifestyles that have become the norm. But, it would also be fair to say that it may be time to change the norm.

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