Carbon Emissions and Law

Abstract

Global warming is one of the prime environmental problems today. Research indicates that global warming has not spared any country regardless of the geographical location. As a result, the United Nations has set various measures aimed at mitigating the effects of global warming.

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Despite the threshold of greenhouse emissions set by the United Nations, a study shows that several countries have failed to mitigate the greenhouse emissions blamed for global warming. This paper aims to explore the environmental management concept.

It also aims at examining strategies used to mitigate greenhouse emissions. In so doing, the paper will compare mitigation strategies employed by Saudi Arabia and the Australian government about carbon emissions.

The paper also explores how the car-driving profession contributes to carbon emissions, as well as the strategies that the transport industry employs to mitigate emissions. Finally, the paper will evaluate and analyze the carbon reduction strategies used by the car industry.

Introduction

Franchetti and Apul (2012) argue that global warming is a massive problem in the world today.

Findings show that all countries worldwide are feeling the impacts of global warming. The impacts of global warming include prolonged droughts, increased glacial movement, typhoons, increased flooding, and rising sea levels among others.

Scientists have established that global warming result from excess greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere. According to scientists, carbon emissions released into the atmosphere interferes with the ozone layer thereby resulting in global warming (Grubel, 2011).

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China and the U.S. currently rank as the leading emitters of greenhouse emissions due to heavy industrialization in these countries.

Saudi Arabia and Australia are also major emitters of greenhouse gases catalyzed by increased industrialization witnessed in these countries over the past few decades.

However, it is notable that, despite Saudi Arabia and Australia have made significant moves aimed at reducing the level of greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere, the two countries have not achieved the level of emissions desired.

Manufacturing and transport industries rank as the leading emitter of carbon into the atmosphere. This paper compares carbon emissions in Australia and Saudi Arabia.

It also analyzes the level of emission of carbon by the motor vehicle industry, as well as the strategies Saudi Arabia and Australia use to mitigate the emissions (Grubel, 2011).

Comparison of carbon emission initiatives of Poland and Australian governments

Saudi Arabia and Australia are among the leading emitters of carbon into the atmosphere, according to the United Nations. This is due to the increased industrialization in the two countries.

Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia’s carbon emission is relatively higher than Australia’s. For instance, a study conducted in 2012 on the rate of carbon emission ranked Australia as the 13th leading emitters of carbon while Saudi Arabia was 3rd worldwide.

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However, in terms of per capita emission, Australia ranked among the top emitters where it ranked position 9th by contributing about 1.5% of the total global emissions (Australian Government, 2012). This has been increased compared to the years before.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia’s carbon emissions have increased significantly since the 1950s. The increase is attributable to the increase in energy exploration, in the country. The country ranks among the leading producers of oil and gas in the world.

Estimates show that every person in Saudi Arabia emits about 4.69 metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. This figure is far above the level recommended by the United Nations. Statistics show that Saudi Arabia emits about 118 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

According to the 2008 statistics, Saudi Arabia, 64% of the country’s greenhouse emissions came from petroleum products. This follows the increased use of natural gases in the country, which accounts for about 32.1% of the country’s energy source (Rahman and Khondaker, 2012).

Nevertheless, both Saudi Arabia and Australia have put in place several measures aimed at mitigating carbon emissions.

Also, the two countries have also enacted laws and regulation aimed at ensuring the level of carbon emission remains low in conformity with the level set by the Kyoto Protocol.

The Australian government, for example, has made a move aimed at ensuring that its carbon-trading scheme conforms with that of the European Union by the year 2018 (Grubel, 2011).

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The move aims at permitting the Australian firms to use EU permits to emit greenhouse gases starting 2018.

The strategy will be a significant step towards reducing the level of emissions in Australia taking into consideration the fact that the EU’s carbon market is the largest internationally.

Being the world’s highest emitter of carbon per capita, the Australian government is also taxing heavily big polluters in the country as a means of ensuring that the country reduces the level of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

This follows the introduction of the carbon tax in the country in July 2012. The carbon tax law has compelled more than 300 worst carbon emitters in Australia to pay a fine of about $24 per ton of greenhouse emission.

At the same time, the Australian government is subsidizing industry machinery intended to promote the use of greener energy to mitigate greenhouse emissions.

The Australian government is also encouraging its citizens to embrace the use of machinery and appliances that save energy and reducing greenhouse emissions (Australian Government, 2012).

Similarly, the Saudi Arabian government has responded effectively towards mitigating carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The measures taken by the Saudi Arabian government has seen the amount of carbon emission in the country reduce significantly since 1990.

Even though the country has not achieved the level recommended by the United Nations, the country has enacted laws and regulations aimed at reducing the number of carbon emissions in the country.

Some of the measures the government has taken include imposing heavy fines on firms that violate the emission levels set by the government. This has seen firms in Saudi Arabia reduce their levels of pollution as a way of avoiding fines.

The Saudi Arabian government is also harnessing renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, hydroelectric power, and biomass as its alternative sources of energy.

Like Australia, the Saudi Arabian government is encouraging its citizens to use industrial machinery that is less pollutant. Also, the country is encouraging citizens to conserve the environment by avoiding activities that pollute the environment (Rahman and Khondaker, 2012).

How the car driving profession contributes to carbon emission

The motor vehicle industry is one of the sectors that contribute to a large amount of carbon into the atmosphere. The 2005 report by the United Nations shows that the transport sector ranks the second emitter of carbon into the atmosphere emitting about 7 Gt of carbon.

In Saudi Arabia, the transport sector ranks third large emitter of carbon contributing about 18.3% of the country’s carbon emissions (Rahman and Khondaker, 2012). However, findings show that the motor vehicle industry is the leading emitter of carbon in the transport sector.

Motor vehicle emits about 66% of the total carbon emissions from the transport sectors (Rahman and Khondaker, 2012). The emissions come mainly from the combustion of fossil fuel such as petrol and diesel used in the motor vehicle engine.

Strategies, the transport industry, use to reduce carbon emissions

Motor vehicle transport industry has done a lot to ensure a reduction in the level of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Firstly, the motor vehicle transport industry is encouraging the use of public transport as a way of reducing the number of carbon emissions from cars. Most countries encourage the use of public transport through the provision of incentives (Sperling and Cannon, 2009).

Secondly, the transport industry is encouraging people to use alternative means of transport such as bicycle riding or walking short distances. This has the effect of reducing the emissions that will otherwise result if people use cars as a transport means.

The transport industry is also shifting towards the manufacture of ‘green’ cars that are none pollutant. Research has indicated that the high amount of emission from cars is due to the combustion of fossil fuel.

Therefore, to counter this, motor vehicle manufacturers are shifting towards the manufacture of electric cars that do not use fossil fuel in the engine. Mercedes is one of the companies that have successfully tested its electric car (Sperling and Cannon, 2009).

The industry also promotes the manufacture of cars that are efficient in terms of fuel consumption as a way of reducing emissions into the atmosphere. Also, the transport industry has been at the forefront in encouraging the improvements of the roads networks to reduce traffic congestion.

This has proved effective in reducing the number of carbon emissions on roads (Franchetti, and Apul, 2012).

Analysis and evaluation of the carbon reduction strategies in the transport sector

It is worth noting that the strategies employed by the transport industry may differ from one country to another. However, the first strategy that encourages people to adopt the use of the public transport system can be effective.

Public transport reduces the number of cars on roads thereby resulting in a reduction of carbon emissions (Sperling and Cannon, 2009). However, the greatest huddle is in its implementation that may be difficult in some countries.

For example, its implementation in countries made up of the middle class may not be easy because such people may prefer private means of transport to public transport. Furthermore, some countries still do not have a public transport system or are available but extremely disorganized.

This makes the implementation of the public transport system difficult as evident in most third world countries (Sperling and Cannon, 2009).

Bicycle riding and pedestrian as an alternative means of transport is certainly the most effective way of reducing the number of emissions into the atmosphere. The use of a bicycle or walking on foot does not require the burning of fossil fuel making it none pollutant (Sperling and Cannon, 2009).

Therefore, to encourage this person to use this alternative, governments need to provide incentives for bicycles by offering cheap bicycles in the market. The introduction of green cars is also a good solution to the carbon emission problem since it does not involve the use of fossil fuel.

However, it might take too long for electric cars to appear on roads, particularly in developing countries making it less effective compared to other strategies (Sperling and Cannon, 2009).

The improvement of road networks is also an effective means of reducing carbon emissions since it reduces traffic jams resulting in a reduction, in the combustion of fossil fuel.

Conclusion

Environmental degradation has remained a cardinal problem for years. However, the recent increased in carbon emissions has reverberated the debate over the issue. This is due to the global warming menace that results from carbon emissions.

The issue has prompted international intervention that began with the Kyoto Protocol as a means of finding a solution to the problem. Poland and Australia rank among the major emitters of carbon.

Despite the high amount of emission, these countries have already come up with strategies aimed at reducing the level of emissions to the allowable level shortly. The implementation of the strategies will certainly see a significant reduction of carbon emissions in these countries.

Glossary

Greenhouse emissions: Gases produced from the burning of fossil fuel such as carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen.

Kyoto Protocol: An international treaty on climate change established in 1997.

References

Apul, D. S., & Franchetti, M. J. (2012). Carbon footprint analysis: concepts, methods, implementation, and case studies. New York: CRC Press.

Australian Government. (2012). Carbon pollution reduction scheme: Australia’s low pollution future. Web.

This website contains a number of articles regarding measures the Australian government is taking to mitigate the amount of carbon emissions. The strategies are both short and long-term. Some of the strategies in the website include adoption of renewable sources of energy, carbon tax, and public awareness initiatives.

Grubel, J. (2011). Australia passes landmark carbon price laws. Web.

James Grubel is a renowned Australian political analyst. He has participated actively in the analysis of the political environment of Australia. In this article, Grubel systematically analyses the laws and regulations passed by the Australian government with an aim of pressurizing firms to adopt technologies that are environment friendly. He also notes in this article that the pollution tax will mainly affect firms with high pollution rates in the country. Grubel addresses this article to the public.

Cannon, J. S., & Sperling, D. (2009). Reducing climate impacts in the transportation sector. Hoboken, New Jersey: Springer.

In this book, Daniel Spering, and James Spencer Cannon analyzes the extent to which transport sectors contributes to global warming. They also explore the strategies the transport sector employs to mitigate carbon emissions from automobiles. The authors addressed to this book to students and policy formulators intending to study climate change and its causes.

Rahman, S.M., & Khondaker, A.N. (2012). Mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon capture and storage in Saudi Arabia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Volume 16, Issue 5, 2446–2460.

This journal article by Syed Masiur Rahman and A.N. Khondaker explores the causes of global warming in the world. It also analyses the extent to which Saudi Arabia contributes to the problem of global warming. In addition, the article examines measures that the Saudi Arabian government has taken to mitigate greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere. The authors addressed this journal article to students, environmentalists, and the policy makers.

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