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  • 2016 has been the worst year for carbon emissions in 66 million years, and with Donald Trump

  • as the new president-elect, that may not get better anytime soon.

  • Such extreme pollution, has demanded a solution from world leaders.

  • One proposed idea is called a carbon tax, and is championed by environmentalists, and

  • even some conservatives.

  • But what exactly is a carbon tax and could it actually work?

  • Well, a carbon tax establishes a price on greenhouse gas emissions so companies are

  • charged for every ton of emissions they produce.

  • The idea is that the tax will incentivize companies to lower their carbon emissions

  • and find new technologies that decrease their carbon needs.

  • Aka empowering the marketplace to find solutions without adding more regulations.

  • It’s this last point that is particularly appealing to conservatives.

  • But, realistically, if companies have to pay an additional fee, chances are that energy

  • costs will rise.

  • One way to offset the increase in energy costs to the consumer is to make the tax, revenue-neutral.

  • This means that while energy costs would rise, people would see the money returned to them

  • instead of the government either via a reimbursement check or by a reduction in income taxes.

  • Carbon taxes already exist in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia,

  • Switzerland, and Chile.

  • Sweden was the first country to institute a carbon tax and they did so back in 1991.

  • Currently, it’s a tax of $150 per ton and arguably it has been the most successful at

  • changing behaviors and reducing carbon emissions as it fueled new green heating technologies.

  • In 2008, British Columbia, Canada instituted a carbon tax with the intention of using the

  • revenue to reduce income taxes.

  • But whether or not it has been successful depends on who you ask.

  • Although it did appear to slightly reduce carbon emissions, critics say that the tax,

  • between $10 and $30 a ton, was too low to change industry behavior.

  • In fact, Oil company ExxonMobil supports a Carbon tax between $40 and $80 per ton, believing

  • that stability and a regulatory environment will help them in the long term.

  • So why are carbon taxes controversial?

  • Well, opponents of the tax say that it would hurt country GDPs, especially developing countries

  • that rely on high-emissions industries.

  • And others argue that any financial benefits from the tax being revenue-neutral could actually

  • benefit big business rather than low and middle class people.

  • Overall the environmental community is on board with a carbon tax but there’s a heated

  • debate about what to do with the tax revenues and whether they should go directly back to

  • the consumer or be used to help progress to a greener economy.

  • And as part of the Paris Climate Agreement, the United States has committed to reduce its

  • greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

  • But climate change legislation has seen little progress in Congress, and with the election

  • of Donald Trump, who has criticized the Paris Agreement, many are unsure the deal will remain

  • in place.

  • So where does that leave us?

  • Still needing to figure out how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • As environmentalist Bill Mckibben says, “Carbon should not flow unpriced into the atmosphere,

  • any more than you should be allowed to toss your garbage in the street.”

  • We at Seeker are committed to bringing you stories that will inform and inspire you.

  • In this next episode, meet 24 year old Louis Bird, an inexperienced rower who embarked

  • on the journey of his life across the Pacific Ocean, all to connect with the memory of his father.

  • I'm coming to the place that ultimately ended my father's life.

  • I hadn't prepared for the fact that it would be as difficult as it has been.

  • But now, I've made a breakthrough and I feel a lot more comfortable on the boat.

  • We're over halfway, I'm enjoying myself.

  • Thanks for watching Seeker Daily, please make sure to like and subscribe to see new videos

  • everyday.

2016 has been the worst year for carbon emissions in 66 million years, and with Donald Trump

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B1 US carbon tax greenhouse gas greenhouse ton reduce

Does A Tax On Pollution Actually Work?

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