Measures to tackle climate change and environmental degradation have varied over the course of the past several decades, with campaigners and experts arguing for a series of different steps in the ongoing fight against global warming. One of these proposed measures is to increase fuel levies as well as the cost of private motor vehicles.
The logic to this step is not difficult to see. A rise in fuel costs will deter motorists from spending profligately on gasoline and diesel, thus reducing the levels of toxic gas emissions released into the atmosphere. The additional revenues generated from a surcharge on vehicles and gas emissions can then be used to invest in green technology as well as a vastly improved public transport infrastructure. This will then lead to millions more people using public transport and a reduction in the number of cars on roads.
Nonetheless, one must tread carefully when walking down such a path. A rise in fuel duty and overly penal tax on cars could have serious repercussions for industries that rely upon road haulage and vehicle driving for their profits. Companies distributing products via road lorries, as well as construction companies that rely heavily on large vehicles being driven long distances, would be adversely affected by such a change, leading to an overall depression of national economic growth. Such a measure could have disastrous effects and ought not to be considered until a cost benefits analysis has been undertaken.
Overall, while I believe it is vital to do more to tackle the evils of climate change, this should not be done in a way that has an overly negative impact on the economy. A balance between growth and environmental sustainability should be achieved.