Localized Carbon Emission Control

EnvironmentThe 80’s was the decade of the ‘Bits and Bytes’ and 90’s was the decade of ‘Bugs and Plants’. 2000 can be seen as the decade of ‘Climate Change.’ While Climate Change is ‘authentic’ but the fear of climate change is ‘in-authentic’-which is stopping us from taking action. We do have limited actions. For example in India, we do have, HSBC working with small Machine Engineering industries promoting small scale industry to improve fuel efficiency through new investments. We do have some prominent NGOs like IRADE promoting awareness, TERI promoting environmental friendly technology initiatives through awards, and Development Alternatives and Centre for Science and Technology promoting environmental causes, located in Delhi but these are not enough.

Right now Solar power is the best bet, but the cost of coal to solar power production is 3:20 for producing electricity. We do need money for taking this agenda further. But, with the global recession, the R&D money is drying up. A forward transfer through tax in developed world is a better way at ensuring corporate governance. It ensures a ‘Win Win’ situation. Otherwise climate change policies are regressive however the tradable quota may be allocated. Those left using the polluting technologies, would always be the poor be it country or people within a country, and therefore last ones to adopt it. Therefore they will be the ones who will always have to pay a higher price for pollution reduction measures. Those who are responsible for it, may already have moved, on leaving the mess behind.

There are enough measures tried with other pollutants in other countries that we can think of. Just to quote two examples: Treating environment as a limited rental space for use and collecting cumulative tax from industry and redistribute it to the population at large for corrective measures is possible. Creating a Superfund for localised space like Delhi NCR, to be used by those who are currently suffering the consequences, seems only fair. Alternately issuing tradable permits for quota allocated to each industry is the first step, which then can be traded. It was used to bring down Sulphur Dioxide from power plants and automobile fuels in USA, why not carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in NCR? After all we did change to CNG…..

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Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years. I am mainly concerned with the infrastructure and technology project impacts on people communities and their physical environment. Their adaptation and mitigation strategies, interests me, now especially in the context of climate change and CDM.

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