Since the once mighty ‘smoke-stack’ industries emerged out of the 19th century industrial revolution to provide the ‘engine’ for wealth creation, the standard of living has been so ironic. And now it’s under threat from the need to reduce some effects of industrial success. Having provided the taxable income and capital required to sustain the fiscal policies of government ,the fruits of an industrial age may now have to yield a further stream of UK taxes. These are the green taxes designed to reshape the way modern society uses scarce global resources, particularly those used to provide energy, and cut CO2 emissions.
That developing countries want what the developed countries have is understandable. But, with the best intentions, can a UK population, dragooned into behaviour patterns unilaterally to reduce emissions and save the planet , make such a great difference? Industrialisation in a small number of countries, notably China and India, is currently growing at an unprecedented rate. The argument for the status quo is that the danger of climate change cannot be averted by the small-scale and puny efforts of some (but not all)western countries.
If this view were to hold sway in the UK , then it is possible that no improvements in the position on climate change, or the conserving of valuable global resources ,will ever be made. It is just possible though, that if the UK together with the rest of the developed world were to mend its ways ,its example may be followed by the developing countries. These countries could be encouraged to also follow the best practices and energy -efficient policies which have been and are still being developed out of the experience and knowledge acquired by the older industrialised nations.
But will the so called green taxes do the trick? Taxation is a notoriously blunt instrument and will often not fall most on those with the ability (or culpability) to pay.
The gas guzzling residents of the London Borough of Kingston,for instance, may not be affected by the much higher parking fees to be levied on their 4x4s. They may be angered by the tax, but they may just pay-up. It does ,though, seem a little odd to penalise people when they are not driving their more heavily polluting vehicles!
It must be the case that even small improvements to reduce CO2 emissions are worthwhile, in order to help avoid major disasters on a global scale.One cause of pollution, the car, is often put forward as an arch-enemy of the environment. Given the immense benefits the internal combustion engine has brought to modern societies, attempts to remove the car as a form of transport or recreation is too extreme a measure. Other options should be first exhausted. Manufacturers should be encouraged, perhaps by taxing policies or even financial incentives, to introduce more environmentally-friendly cars, and assist major oil companies, and others, in the developing the use of alternatives to fossil fuels. When the tax payer has some real options to help reduce carbon emissions, then a taxation regime to deal with unnecessary pollution appears more justified, if raising money is not the main objective of the exercise.
Now, of course, there have been many developments in the production of greener cars. Also, there are ways drivers can drive greener. It is also true,that there is too much conflicting information out there at the moment. People are confused by the choices currently available. There is a need to sort the sheep from the goats. Education will always be essential as advances in greener cars and fuel technology continue to be made.
There will soon be more electric cars and hybrids. Fuel technology is already developing at a rapid rate. For example, in the mid-west of the US, corn is in great demand for the production of alternative fuels ( like ethanol and bio-diesel).
All this means that the prospective car buyer must keep up to date on automotive developments so as to be able to make the right choice of environmentally-friendly car. In making this choice,the buyer will need to watch out to make sure the benefits for the environment are high, and the green taxes low.
The author writes articles about the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging the driving of low emission cars. For more free information and advice for UK motorists when buying an environmentally-friendly car go to http://www.green-car-guide.com