Why Do We Need to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

This is the greatest problem that humanity faces today Global temperatures have risen by 1C since preindustrial era and, under current policies, are predicted to rise by 3.1-3.7C before this century’s end. What is the reason we should cut carbon dioxide emissions? Carbon emissions stay on the planet for a period of 100 years, and as much as 80percent of them dissolve in the sea over a span between 20 and 200 years. The issue impacts the environmental, but also the economy. The evidence suggests that the reduction of carbon emissions will boost economic growth, however can governments take the necessary actions necessary?

Why is it necessary to reduce carbon emissions?

Global temperature rise and climate change have created conditions that are inhospitable, and pose more risk to health for the public. The problems caused by the high carbon emissions into the atmosphere are huge and extensive. From aggravating the effects of outdoor air pollution that according to the World Health Organisation led to around 4.2 millions premature deaths 90% of them live in middle and low-income countries to ocean acidification which causes the temperature of the ocean to rise as coral bleaching occurs, causing irreparable harm to marine ecosystems, to food insecurity. Changes in precipitation and temperature impact crop yields and shifts in areas of cultivation.

How do Greenhouse Gases Impact the economy?

A study from 2017 found there was China, 1.23 million air pollution-related deaths in 2010 accounted for the equivalent of 13.2 percent of the nation’s GDP. The similar year air pollution was responsible for more than 23 000 deaths across the UK and accounted for up to 7.1 percent of GDP. A different report predicts that annual premature deaths caused by outdoor air pollution could rise by 9 million in 2060 from 3 million deaths in 2010. There will also be an increase in the number of annual hospital admissions to 11 million patients in 2060, up from 3.6 million in the year 2010. One of the most significant advantages of the reduction of the carbon footprint is it could reduce mortality rates due to air pollution, and also help to reduce the strain on health systems.

In order to achieve growth in the economy, while also focusing on cutting carbon emission, separation between the two is required. There are numerous methods to achieve this and one of them is setting up the carbon tax.

Carbon taxation is seen as a means to cut emissions and make economic efficiency and are promoted as a way to improve the functioning and efficiency of our economy. reduce dependence on fossil fuels from abroad (for countries that import them) to reduce pollution, and reduce spending by the government. In the last two decades, Sweden have proven that by imposing a carbon tax. introduced in 1991. The price of carbon has increased steadily between EUR29 and then EUR125 in 2014. Worldwide, Sweden has the highest amount of carbon taxation globally and has managed to decouple. The money generated from this tax is utilized wherever the country requires it.

China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, and suffers the highest concentrations of pollution to the air. The Low-Carbon Pilot Program (CLCP) was adopted in eight provinces and five cities with the aim of separating the growth of economics from fossil fuels by transforming to an economy that is based on efficiency in energy and renewable energy sources. Although the cities in the pilot have made progress in developing low-carbon plans however, there are obstacles including a lack specific definitions for the term ‘low carbon city’, the confusion that results from multiple parallel programs and insufficient support policies. But the CLCP helps to boost regional economic growth and, while increasing manufacturing costs, it encourages the expansion of companies in terms of output and gains. In addition, it assists in improve the internal administration, effectiveness, and creativity, which leads to greater productivity and competitiveness. A study in 2019 indicates that because of the CLCP the degree of market competitiveness has increased, thereby promoting economic growth not just by selling goods at affordable price, but pushing for the development of new products. This is apparent in the month of July 2021, when China was able to introduce an emissions trading system for its national market after a long delay. The market witnessed 4.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions quotas valued at USD$32 million being exchanged on the very initial day of its launch which makes it the largest carbon market in the world.

A 2017 study suggests the most effective way to prevent the cost of production rising is to create new technology that can reduce CO2 emissions and also reduce costs. Based on the National Statistics in the year 2017, because of not just climate regulation and economic structural changes as well as technological advances that occurred in the UK The region was able achieve decoupling between the years 1985 and 2016 and the GDP per head grew by 70.7 percent while emissions decreased by 34 percent. The technological advances involved improvements in the efficiency of vehicles and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy. Between 1990 and 2017 the consumption of renewable energy sources was up by 267 percent, while the consumption of fossil fuels fell by 22 percent. Denmark’s rapid rise in renewable energy has reduced carbon emissions and encouraged local production.

However, productivity is also negatively affected by the climate change due to the destruction of infrastructure due to disasters such as floods rising sea levels, and the affliction of agriculture.

A study published in the journal Nature states that for every million tonnes of CO2, the loss in GDP could be as high as half a percentage. Countries that are developed like Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the UK will suffer less than 0.1 percent of productivity loss per unit of emission. However, the productivity loss in developing countries such as India, Thailand and Malaysia can range from 3% to 5% of GDP for each billion tonnes of carbon emissions. Thus keeping carbon emissions low will result in a decrease in productivity loss (the extent of the reduction will depend on the nation).

Furthermore, if we take advantage of every one of the low-cost climate reduction opportunities available today The total cost of addressing the climate crisis will be between 200 and 300 billion euros per year by 2030 . This is lower than 1 percent of projected global GDP by 2030.

It is essential that nations can achieve this decoupling and decrease carbon emissions, in particular with a carbon tax in order to create a more economically sustainable and prosperous society. Inaction or take action too late, could lead to more climate change, which will affect the possibility of humanity prolonging its tenure for the Earth.