Oct 9, 2021
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Will carbon tax be replaced with carbon debt?

Will carbon tax be replaced with carbon debt?

Recently, the Council for Science and Education discussed a project for the environmental development of Russia until 2030. Instead of introducing a carbon tax, as required by the EU, Russia is going to go its own way.

The Russian government has begun developing a domestic analogue of the carbon tax. The goal is to prevent Russian companies from paying this tax in the EU countries, since it is completely unprofitable for us. In addition, no matter how much tax you pay, nature does not get better from it. A carbon footprint tax is unlikely to make a big difference as long as emissions themselves remain unlimited.

It is difficult for Russia to switch quickly to alternative energy sources – solar and wind power plants. In the northern regions, the sun is sometimes not shown for six months. And the calm, which left Europe without electricity from wind turbines this summer, shows that wind farms should not be counted on either. The long heating season again requires significant energy and fuel consumption. It turns out that giving up coal and oil will cost Russia trillions of rubles. What to do?

A group of scientists, including scientists from the Russian National Research University Higher School of Economics, proposed that instead of introducing a tax on the “carbon footprint”, consider the emission of harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a carbon debt and oblige companies that allowed such an emission to remove CO2 after themselves. It is assumed that “debts to the atmosphere and climate of the Earth” should induce companies and factories to actively develop and implement green technologies, as well as technologies for capturing carbon dioxide from the air and processing it.

If a company emitted a certain amount of CO2 during production, then this will be taken into account as its debt, which it must pay off in a couple of years by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But in this couple of years, the company could go bankrupt and cease to exist. Who then will remove this CO2 and for what money? Therefore, companies will still be obliged to pay a certain amount annually until the debt is paid in full.

And the money should go into some kind of government safety cushion and then be spent on the same purpose – cleaning the atmosphere from greenhouse gases.

Thus, the authors of the idea propose to save future generations from a climatic catastrophe and from the need to clean up garbage from the atmosphere after greedy ancestors who brought the world to the brink of destruction.

Yana Polyanskaya.


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