CO2 mania

We all know our world is dying, and we are to blame. Our rigourous spending and consuming behaviour has led to the demise of our ozone-layer and the process of global warming. As Al Gore told us: we’re doomed if we don’t do something about it.

In that light, our government has decided to heighten the taxes on all leased cars (22% to 25% ‘bijtelling’), and lower the taxes on specific car models which have lowest emissions (22% to 14%). Today, there’s 3 models that comply to the new strict rules and are eligible for the low taxing. Obviously, there’s a real hausse going on right now, as 2 of the three models are family-cars (and hybrids), the other is a very small 4-seater with a regular petrol-engine.
A couple of years ago, the tendency to see us as the major pollutors and killers of the world as we know it has lead to the infamous Kyoto Protocol.
Starting in 2005, emissions were to be regulated and more specifically administrated. All large companies had to keep track of the emissions, and had to keep them below a certain level.
Last week, the EU has decided to vote for a new plan: in 2020 a reduction in CO2-emission of 20% compared to 1990. Note: Kyoto had the agreement to lower CO2 emissions to 5% below the level of 1990. Yes, that’s a 15% extra bonus on the decrease!

The worst part is: it is most likely going to be an EU-only agreement. This puts ‘us’ in a peculiar position: all european companies have to compete on the global market with at least one hand tied to their backs: by adhering to emission-quota which others do not is a competitive disadvantage that is not to be taken lightly. The new rules have the likeliness to cost vast amounts of money, yet the outcome is pretty much unclear.
The goal of the new regulations remain cloudy: what are the effects of ‘our’ reduction can be seen, and on what period in time?

Put shortly: I simply cannot see why rules like these have to be enforced in our economic area only. Global rules are fine by me, as the disadvantages are common among all competitors, and we all are helping the cause.
But why oh why, does the EU have to be, like The Netherlands, the best boy in class?

6 thoughts on “CO2 mania”

  1. Because someone has to be first, and it might as well be the most economically solid region in the world, eh?

    Ask yourself the question: who else would? The US won’t. Africa can’t afford it. South America can’t either. Asia is too tied up in fantastic growth to stunt itself now. That only leaves Europe.

    You know my position on this, so I won’t comment further.

  2. Hehe, I know that. I just think it is ‘unfair’ for the EU to be more strict in the rules than the rest of the world.
    When an agreement like this is introduced, I think, like Kyoto, some sort of global effort is to be made.
    I’m thus talking about the worsened position of EU-based businesses relative to the rest of the world as of these new regulations. I’m not even starting on the necessity, as we both know are differing in opinion. Which is fine.

    Someone has to start behaving responsible, I agree. But why are there no efforts to ‘upgrade’ our 20%-rule into a global agreement? That is the question at hand, and that is what I was trying to get a grasp on.
    Me putting it perhaps too string is kind of a defect probably, but I’ll have to live with that.
    So, how do you feel on the above, revised, question?

  3. I doubt there are no efforts, but I’m not informed enough about that to make a statement. If no effort has been made, it should be.

    Still, I’d be willing to ‘invest’ more into environmental preservation, being ‘Europe’, than Asia, Africa and South-America. As in my opinion we should strive towards a global equality in emission per capita, Europe and the US will have to suffer more to get there than the developing nations. But I don’t think this should be a one-step program; baby steps into the right direction, with one or a few big ones to start off, are fine.

    See, I’m not one to propagate equality of wealth; to put it bluntly, humanity is second priority for me as it can very well take care of itself, thank you. But as the developed countries are both the worst polluters and the richest, I don’t really see any other option than us carrying the heaviest burden. As long as it’s a global effort – and a genuine one from all involved parties – I’d be okay with it.

    The problem here is probably that there’s no governmental body that has any power over the involved nations. Therefore, opting out of the agreement doesn’t carry any direct punishment; you create a sort of prisoner’s dilemma. Pretty much the only global instances that in any way have power over countries are the IMF and the World bank. While their mission might not include this, at least they could force action in some way.

  4. You forgot the UN, yet they are not as powerful as the IMF. Although I believe there’s more respect for the UN than for the IMF amongst the inhabitants of say, Africa and the Middle East. Governments probable think otherwise, in fact: they should.

    We’ll just have to see what happens next regarding this topic, I certainly do not know.

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