Most people agree that the use of fossil fuels should be reduced to some extent.
, imposing taxes is a controversial tactic which appears to have a number of contradictory effects. We will consider both sides of the discussion in
On the one hand, those who support taxation of fossil fuels, promote the idea that higher prices will lead to lower consumption and
lower emissions. They point to evidence from countries
as Sweden, where
appears to be the case, and urge other nations to follow suit.
, proponents of
taxes claim that the funds raised can
be used to subsidise renewable
as solar and localised biofuel reactors. To the supporters of the idea, these benefits are convincing.
, opponents of
tax are able to cite evidence from other countries (including France and Italy) where higher tax has apparently not reduced demand for
fuels. In these cases, the effect has been to force people to pay more for the same volume of
, which appears to penalise those who can least afford it.
, critics of
highlight the difficulty in governments promising renewable schemes without interfering in the entire
market. If the state was to control the entire market for fuels, they say,
would force suppliers to leave the market,
reducing competition and efficiency.
appears to be quite powerful.
To sum up, I would tend to side with the opponents of
taxation. It seems to be unreasonable to force vulnerable consumers to pay more for a commodity which is essential to them, without a real infrastructure for renewable
being in place. It would be more logical to improve availability of renewable
, which would allow consumers to make a genuine choice.
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