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A case for differential global carbon tax

Topics Covered:

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


A case for differential global carbon tax


What to study?

For Prelims: About carbon tax and features of it.

For Mains: Challenges due to uneven sharing of burden, what needs to be done?


Concerns raised by the Recent IPCC report:

  1. Total global emissions will need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. 
  2. If these targets are not met, tropical regions of the world, which are densely populated in the global South are likely to be most negatively affected because of their low altitudes and pre-existing high temperatures. 


What’s the issue now?

The global South has always contributed less to the problem and even at present its per capita carbon emissions are much smaller in comparison to the countries in the global North. But, the price being paid it to changing climate is huge.

Some impact of this was already felt during the Tamil Nadu water crisis this year.


What needs to be done?

  1. At this point, burden of adjustment cannot be equal when the underlying relationship between the two worlds has been historically unequal. 
  2. A just approach would involve a global sharing of responsibility among countries according to their respective shares in global emissions
  3. Just Energy Transition (JET) model: Premised on a sense of global justice in terms of climatic fallouts and the respective contributions of the countries. It will also help the resource-poor developing countries to make the energy transition without having to worry about finances unduly.
  4. Burden sharing: Apart from funding their own energy transition, countries should partially support the transition for the countries at the bottom. This sharing of the burden of development should be done in a way that inverts this injustice funnel. Countries have to spend around 1.5% of their GDP


Need of the hour:

  1. A genuine global consensus on the mitigation of this problem.
  2. Both worlds need to contribute to averting this danger in their self-interest. 


Sources: the Hindu.