Authors: Ernst U. Von Weizsacker
Addresses: Director of the Institute of European Environmental Policy, Bonn, West Germany
Abstract: The |greenhouse effect| has become a major threat to the global environment. To counter this threat, an international convention will be needed that lays down a set of detailed protocols to deal with environmental policy. Among the greenhouse gases CO2 seems to pose the biggest challenge to environmental policy at both national and international levels. Nuclear power can at best be an auxiliary part of the answer. Energy productivity can and ought to be increased by a factor of two or more. To achieve this and to encourage the development and use of renewables, prices of fossil fuels and nuclear energy should be drastically increased by means of energy taxes. Revenues from such energy taxes should chiefly be used to reduce other taxes, but also partly to |buy| forest conservation. More generally, environmental taxes may gradually be introduced in the place of other taxes to stimulate technologies for sustainable development. Before major changes can be expected in ambitious and long-term strategies, quick actions can be taken in several domains including climate research, energy efficiency, and re-afforestation. The EC may take the lead in both short-term and long-term strategies.
Keywords: climate diplomacy; CO2; carbon dioxide; carbon emissions; energy productivity; energy taxes; environmental taxes; global warming; international action; pricing policy; greenhouse effect; taxation.
International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 1990 Vol.2 No.1, pp.14-19
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