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Reducing CO2 Emissions with a Carbon Tax

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Formerly holding leadership roles at Royal Dutch Shell, Shell Upstream Americas, Shell Energy and Shell Exploration and Production Compant, David Lawrence leads Lawrence Energy Group, LLC, as chairman. David Lawrence also writes Energy Perspectives, a blog syndicated by The Energy Collective on topics ranging from energy supply and reserves, to energy security, energy poverty and carbon pricing.

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Reducing CO2 Emissions with a Carbon Tax

  1. 1. REDUCING CO2 EMISSIONS WITH A CARBON TAX By David Lawrence, Shell
  2. 2. Introduction  Formerly holding leadership roles at Royal Dutch Shell, Shell Upstream Americas, Shell Energy and Shell Exploration and Production Compant, David Lawrence leads Lawrence Energy Group, LLC, as chairman. David Lawrence also writes Energy Perspectives, a blog syndicated by The Energy Collective on topics ranging from energy supply and reserves, to energy security, energy poverty and carbon pricing. A site sharing insights from “the world’s best thinkers on energy and climate,” The Energy Collective publishes articles on energy, green building, and political topics impacting the environmental and energy sectors.
  3. 3. Reducing CO2 Emissions  At the end of 2014, the site released an article addressing the concept of carbon taxes. Titled “A Carbon Tax on Me: How to Cut Emissions, Save Money, Invest for the Future and Help End Energy Poverty,” the article addressed the challenges arising from the world's increasing demands for energy while lowering CO2 emissions. The people of the world need energy. More than a million new potential energy consumers are added to the world's population every week. Energy contributes to many aspects of the quality of human lives including longer life spans, reduced infant mortality, improved health, increased education and literacy, increased employment, higher GDP and income per capita and reduced poverty. Energy heats, cools and lights homes and businesses, and powers industries and transportation. So, energy has been, is, and will continue to be a force for good.
  4. 4. Carbon Tax  The challenge is that the most reliable, affordable and available energy sources, oil, gas and coal, unfortunately produce CO2. Fossil fuels provide us with more than 80 percent of our primary energy supply today. But increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere contribute to climate change - the more CO2, the more the atmosphere warms. And resultant climate change brings not only higher temperatures and rising sea level, but health and safety concerns, and potential ecological, social, and economic disruption.
  5. 5. Conclusion  The article proposes a simple, voluntary, revenue neutral carbon price mechanism for individuals. People first determine the level of CO2 they are producing. This allows them to calculate how much to reduce the carbon footprint per year by a given date. Thereafter, the individual can apply a value to the CO2 output per ton that is the annual carbon fee. These funds can then be used to invest in meaningful causes, such as energy poverty, improvements in energy efficiency, and research in clean energy technologies.

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