Student Blog: Climate Change Solutions: State Action

As part of the Centre's Global Schools' Programme, students research and write their own blog. Click below to read this week's essay.

Climate Change Solutions – State Action

By

Desmond Kavanagh, Abbey Community College

Chloe Hartley, Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School

Kate Cremin, Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School

Jack Donohoe, Abbey Community College

 

Climate change is a very big issue which needs a strong power to tackle it. Whilst there are many charitable organizations which are combating climate change, a large portion of the work which needs to be done will have to be done by governments. Some governments around the world have been proactive in trying to tackle the problem of climate change but other governments aren’t so helpful. Governments are helpful in many ways, as they have a large amount of capital and power influence. Some of these solutions that the governments need to implement are renewable energy, waste disposal, and afforestation, which is where companies must replant the trees they cut down. All governments need to come together in our opinion so that for our future generations the world is clean, and the natural beauty of the world has been preserved.

The governments of the world are heavily tied to climate change, whether it be aggressively ignoring it or strongly fighting it. One state solution is a carbon tax, i.e. a tax on goods that put carbon dioxide in the air. In 2010 a carbon tax was introduced in Ireland. The carbon tax applies to kerosene, marked gas oil, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil, natural gas and solid fuels. Another way government's tackle climate change is cap and trade. Cap and trade is a system for controlling carbon emissions and other forms of atmospheric pollution by which an upper limit is set on the amount a given business or other organization may produce but which allows further capacity to be bought from other organizations that have not used their full allowance. Cap and trade is being used in numerous places all around and although it is preferred by liberals, is still popular. One more government solution to climate change is investment in renewable energy. Whilst many countries have done this, one big example is China who are planning to have spend $361 billion on renewable energy by 2020, which will create an estimated 13 million jobs. Another measure which governments are taking to combat climate change is encouraging the purchase of electric and hybrid cars, one nation which is leading the way in this area is France, who have pledged to remove petrol and diesel cars entirely by 2040.

In conclusion, governments have multiple different ways of tackling climate change. These include removing fossil fuel energy plants and replacing them with renewable energy plants, such as wind farms and hydroelectric power stations, making it easier for people to recycle their waste instead of it going to landfills, encouraging people to buy electric or hybrid cars to reduce our carbon footprint and reducing deforestation by introducing legislation so that companies must replant any trees they cut down. Many governments are taking steps towards these measures and are making good progress towards reducing their emissions such as China and France. However, some countries are avoiding dealing with these issues as they fear that acting will reduce their chances at re-election and they're not willing to invest the amount of money required to make considerable progress towards implementing these measures. The view that climate change is a hoax and that we don't need to worry about how we are affecting the earth is still very popular among some politicians, mainly on the right wing of the political spectrum and in countries where right wing parties hold power, very little progress is being made towards combating climate change such as the U.S.