2014 was the warmest year in record, with abnormal extended periods of El Niña and El Niño, a series of devastating super typhoons worldwide, sea level rise caused by intensive melting of ice. The planet’s heat has been turned up, Spinal Tap style, we’re up to 11/10, with Australian meteorologists having to add new colours on their weather maps as temperatures rose to 52 Celsius!
What solutions do we have? I'm for taxing pollution: the companies that emit the most C02 emissions, the higher they must be taxed. So far this has proved the most effective and cheapest way of preventing climate change.
What is more, carbon taxation is far more sustainable for the long-term viability of ecosystem services, versus the environmental risks associated with irreversible and catastrophic outcomes of unfettered pollution.
The world has attempted to price and tax carbon emissions since the first Kyoto Protocol. Hopefully in Paris this year global commitments to emissions caps and trade will be strengthened. But since the UNFCCC is a body that requires unanimous global accord, political agreement between sovereign governments has been slow.
Renewable energy technologies, however, have been moving fast. Electrons are now a commodity product: whoever can produce these the cheapest will dominate the market and solar is moving fast!
"An obvious solution is putting a price on carbon so that companies are forced to internalise the external costs of CO2 emissions, but despite many progressive companies calling for such a tax", veteran climate expert Randers says voters will be loath to pay more. Optimists who believe this stalemate will end once it becomes profitable to solve the climate problem have a very long time to wait, according to Randers.