2012-12-27. Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener

posted Jan 2, 2013, 1:03 PM by Alan Gould
| Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times. Relevant to GSS Climate Change, chapter 9. Excerpt: …Ireland… imposed taxes on most of the fossil fuels used by homes, offices, vehicles and farms, based on each fuel’s carbon dioxide emissions, a move that immediately drove up prices for oil, natural gas and kerosene. Household trash is weighed at the curb, and residents are billed for anything that is not being recycled. The Irish now pay ...yearly registration fees that rise steeply in proportion to the vehicle’s emissions. Environmentally and economically, the new taxes have delivered results. Long one of Europe’s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15 percent since 2008. …when the Irish were faced with new environmental taxes, they quickly shifted to greener fuels and cars and began recycling with fervor. … as fossil fuels became more costly, renewable energy sources became more competitive, allowing Ireland’s wind power industry to thrive. Even more significantly, revenue from environmental taxes has played a crucial role in helping Ireland reduce a daunting deficit by several billion euros each year.  …A recent report estimated that a modest carbon tax in the United States ... could generate about $1.25 trillion in revenue from 2012 to 2022, reducing the 10-year deficit by 50 percent.... ...Some of Europe’s strongest economies, like Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, have taxed carbon dioxide emissions since the early 1990s, and Japan and Australia have introduced them more recently. …Gas, always expensive in Europe, sells here for about $8 a gallon, around 20 percent more than in 2009  …. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/science/earth/in-ireland-carbon-taxes-pay-off.html