Eco tax

It has been a little while since COP26, and what lasting impacts have remained?

Beforehand, I made a few flippant comments such as ‘they’ll make a load of promises they have no intention of sticking to’ and ‘it’s going to be a repeat of the 2020 goals that just get pushed back to 2050’. I based these statements on little information, and yet, here we are…

The whole thing reiterated that people in charge just don’t take responsibility or have a sense of urgency. No doubt that come 2050, targets haven’t been met, a new meeting is underway and we get a 2080 goal with the same stipulations we were meant to meet back in 2020.

During the event, I couldn’t help but question the following: how many of the people going to that summit used environmentally friendly transport? Did they really have to meet in person or could they have done it on Zoom like everyone else has to, especially taking COVID into consideration? How many of them bought new outfits for the event (not from charity shops, obviously)? How many of them drive massive, unnecessary cars? Turn their dishwashers to the eco setting? Use bamboo toothbrushes? shop local?….

I can only imagine the disparity between their professions and lifestyles are as far removed as the cabinet who continue to make industry decisions for sectors they have never stepped foot in.

It goes without question that we can’t all wait around for everyone to make environmentally conscious decisions out of the goodness of their beings. What really drives decisions is money, so why not make that the deciding factor.

I have mentioned that perhaps we should have a plastic tax to help curb plastic usage, but why stop at plastic? Let’s take bigger approach and factor in other damaging aspects to products.

So, my suggestion here is for each item sold, whether it’s a Barbie doll, can of coke or kitchen sponge, there should be an eco tax that is calculated based upon a number of different aspects. The more damaging the offence to the environment, the greater the tax. For example, using 5l water to produce = 10p tax added to cost. Travelling more than 1000 miles between producer and consumer = £3 added to cost. Contributing to deforestation = £5 added to cost. Adding harsh polluting chemicals to water = £10 added to cost. Producing radioactive waste = £100 added to cost.

Of course these figures are not a true reflection of how much it should be or indicate an accurate hierarchy of offences, but the real values should. They should be calculated by how much time, money and resources would be needed to rectify the damage they inflict on the environment and the monies generated from such a tax would directly go to doing just this.

Surely people have thought about this already? So what’s holding them back? Trade deals? Most likely. What are your thoughts?

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