Yuna Sato is an activist and student at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is an active member of BHS environmental action.
It’ll help the environment
If anyone wasn’t quite aware, climate change is a thing, and scientists agree agree that human activities are harming the Earth. For example, if we think about the US, at least 80% of our nation’s energy sources are fossil fuels. The problem is that burning these fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; these greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide or methane, trap heat and raise the overall temperature of our planet. While this might not seem like much, even a 0.5ºC increase can affect weather patterns, marine life, and crop production around the globe.
It’s critical that we take care of our own planet as well as try to reverse the damage that we’ve caused, and carbon pricing is a key tool we can use to do so.
And the economy, too
So, how does carbon pricing fit into the picture? Carbon pricing - literally putting a price on carbon - is crucial to reduce our fossil fuel emissions. It makes fossil fuels less economical, which encourages companies to invest in renewable energy. And for each ton of CO2 emissions we save, we get about $21 down the road, based on some estimates. So less fossil fuels now = more money later.
Plus, carbon pricing works! In British Columbia, fuel use went down by 16% while still increasing the GDP.
This is an especially important time, because carbon pricing is in the MA state house right now and, if passed, would have a profound effect on our efforts to reduce MA’s greenhouse gas emissions!
What Is Carbon Pricing?
Carbon pricing is basically a tax on carbon
It's a tax on industries that distribute fossil fuels (like gasoline). The industry pays based on the CO2 emissions of the fuel they sell.
But you don't have to pay it.
Even though companies such as gasoline marketers and natural gas distributors pass along the added cost to consumers, meaning gas prices might increase, the revenue generated will be distributed as rebates, meaning the cost to individuals evens out. In other words, the fee provides an incentive to decrease fossil fuel use by slightly raising the price of gas over time, while putting money in our pockets to spend on things like weatherization, solar panels and low-impact foods!
Bottom line: if you don't buy fossil fuels, you'll actually be gaining money.
9 Reasons Why YOU Should Support Carbon Pricing
1. Carbon pricing uses the power of the free market to make us less dependent on fossil fuels. Cheating is okay if you’re married to fossil fuels!
2. Carbon pricing has BIPARTISAN support, especially among youth, unlike other climate legislation
3. Besides, Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan thinks the world should have carbon pricing, so why shouldn’t you?
4. Massachusetts has a goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050- without carbon pricing, we won't make the goal. Don’t let Massachusetts be a disgrace.
5. British Columbia implemented a carbon pricing mechanism in 2008. Their economy did NOT crash and they reduced their emissions by 15%. Come on, we can’t let Canada beat us.
6. If you don’t use fossil fuels as much as others, the rebate can earn you free money!
7.Carbon pricing: may forestall inevitable doom (i.e. climate change).
8. Less guilt about your long showers (we know you can’t help it).
9. Carbon pricing opens up the way for a more sustainable future. Be a green hero, be an environment king.