Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade

Instead of designing a new policy initiative, I would want to enforce the idea of cap and trade. Cap and trade, also known as emissions trading, is a free-market-based approach. The government sets a cap on carbon emissions, and states, organizations, firms, or even individuals are given a quota or share of allowed carbon emission. They are free to use the share, or buy and sell shares depending on their “carbon consumption”.

I believe that cap and trade could be a successful policy initiative. To begin, the concept of cap and trade has already been implemented in fisheries all over the world including North America with outstanding results. The policy has benefitted the environment, fisheries, and consumers. With the so-called catch shares, where the right of catching fish is valued at a certain price, bycatch, the industry term for unwanted or illegal fish that have to be thrown overboard, usually dead, dropped by 40 percent. Furthermore, revenues per boat has increased by 80 percent.

Fishing boat in action. Link:

In addition, the idea of cap and trade has been received positively by the American public, despite the notion that it is a controversial and unpopular idea in the U.S.

I realize that enforcing cap and trade would present a great challenge. However, I believe the benefits outweigh the risks, especially in a time where not doing anything is not an option.

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