Monthly Archives: July 2014

How Environmental Policies will Benefit from California’s Cap-and-Trade

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The state of California’s Cap-and-Trade program was initiated in 2013 to combat dangerous greenhouse gas pollution. The program has been designed to help California reduce dangerous emissions substantially by the year 2020. The Cap-and-Trade program is market-based and aims to reduce greenhouse gases with multiple approaches. The ‘cap’ part of the program involves firm limits on emissions while the ‘trade’ component provides incentives like investment for adopting clean technologies. This program may also be able to impact other CA policies with its successful approach to environmental protection too.

Pay to Pollute

California has placed a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Companies that exceed that cap–known as polluters in some quarters–have to pay up for that extra emission. The money goes to the state, which, in turn uses it to invest in cleaner technologies. The less pollution that businesses emit, the less money they will have to pay the state. The funds from the emission allowances also go to offset increases in energy costs for residential consumers.

Investing in the Green Economy

California is working hard to foster their green economy. The Cap-and-Trade program helps support initiatives that spur green sector growth. For instance, many cities are pushing for zero-waste. This initiative creates jobs and supports business initiatives that help deal with recycling waste products. Instead of throwing their junk away, homeowners are calling junk haulers to take their unwanted items away to specialized facilities that deal with this waste in an environmentally responsible manner.

(Source: http://www.fasthaul.com/green-hauling-recycling.html)

Impacting Other Plans

California is often viewed as a pioneer when it comes to alternative energy and green living. The state has broadened its range to work with other partners to make the most of its efforts. Because California is finding innovative solutions for becoming more environmentally friendly, many other states are looking at programs like Cap-and-Trade and considering how they may further their state’s environmental goals too.

Using revenue from the emission allowances provides California with opportunities to use this extra money to fund all kinds of objectives. This is quite attractive for other states that are also looking for creative ways to fund their goals. The logic is that if companies can’t fall in line with emission limits, they need to apply for allowances and pay for them.

Critical Analysis

Of course, there are critics that believe that industry should comply with the state’s limits. However, the program gives business the opportunity to pay for their emissions while searching for methods to reduce them. Also, many citizens are concerned about what the funds will be used for. Many people feel that this money should remain in the clean energy sector. California’s program is still quite young. It remains to be seen how it will play out in years to come. Even so, most people find the program to be a success and simply want to see it continue. It won’t be long before other states adopt similar programs to share in this fiscal success that makes sense environmentally.

(Source: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2014/06/23/californias-cap-and-trade-a-versatile-tool-for-environmental-policies/)