Climate Change

Climate Change




Date due:

Climate Change

Over the years, the globe’s climate has been changing rapidly. Past emissions have cast us to future decades that will see the rise of global temperatures, regardless of mitigation efforts in future. This means that we will experience rising sea levels and drastic changes in the weather patterns. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) for example, the average temperature has risen by nearly 0.8ºC globally since the late 19th century. Apart from efforts by global organizations e.g. UNEP, governments also have a regulatory role to play to try and avert the effects of global warming from rising any further.

In his book Why We Disagree About Climate Change, Hulme (2009) says that the climate change disagreements is about science, allegedly, but this is just a proxy for other conflicts that are out of the surface. The climate change view is just but a free market manifestation of a capitalistic economy (Hulme, 2009). Many, policymakers and other stakeholders have shown an apparent willingness to address the issue of climate change. It is believed among these quarters that there is enough scientific evidence to warrant immediate action. Other groups of people are however constantly insists that policy change is uncalled for, claiming that the whole issue is being blown out of proportion. The heated debate at times seems endless, because of the claims and counterclaims leveled on both the proposed policy solutions and science.

As Hulme (2009) rightly puts it, denying climatic change as an issue is burying our heads in the sand, since it is real. Genuine researches have showed that there have been very serious climatic trends, as a result of emissions from green houses and other gasses. I don’t have to emphasize that climate change is a defining challenge of this time. Science is conclusively clear, and we can’t afford to ignore its impacts. We’ve seen its effects on sea levels, weather patterns, and food/water sources.

Command and Control Regulation is the regulation to an activity or industry directly, by legislation and other means that outlines what is illegal and what is permitted. These regulations often direct their focus specifically on the prevention of environmental problems by giving guidelines on how industries will and should manage a process that generates pollution. It is an approach that generally focuses on regulations, which is later followed up by an inspection program that is ongoing (Stuart, 2013). The benefits of this model are that it is used mostly when the pollutant is extremely toxic, such that its effects outweigh the concerns of its economic efficiency. Also, it is advantageous when the Marginal Abatement Cost Curves of the firms that are in the industry that is regulated are uniform. Command and Control Regulation is useful also when the initial reduction of the pollutant greatly benefits the entire society, whereas not much is achieved by continued reduction. According to Warhurst & Noronha (2000), this approach is susceptible to under protecting some bits of the environment and in other instances can create erroneous burdens of overprotecting others, since it means subjecting many firms under a specific legislation. They also note that since complying with the regulations can become the goal of these industries, there might be little effort, if any, to come up with new technologies that will prevent pollution.

Incentive based on the other hand is a regulatory instrument that encourages good behavior through the issuing of penalties and rewards and to discourage pollution or encourage compliance with climatic legislation, rather than using explicit directives and instructions on how to comply (Stavins). This approach has generally been seen to be effective, especially when it is implemented in the form of pollution charges and tradable permits, in that they encourage firms to undertake efforts to control pollution because of the financial self-interest. Also, it is an approach that generally aims at encouraging firms to find low-cost and innovative ways to reduce environmental emissions rewarding or sharing out punishments in the form of marketable permits or taxes. The main drawback of this approach is that it is inappropriate when dealing with those environmental issues that exhibit equity concerns. For example, emissions trading programs could have the consequence (which are unintended) of concentrating pollution in areas that are economically-disadvantaged.

Fossil energy sources like natural gas have been so much in use, when it comes to cooking, heating and generating electricity. It is found in abundance in the underground rock formations, and the ethical issues around it include the emission of carbon dioxide, although in less proportions. Oil has been associated with much of the economic growth in the last 150 years and has been described as the economic growth driver. There have been concerns over the use of oil, since burning them up emits large quantity of carbon dioxide that are greatly responsible for global warming and greenhouse effect. Similarly, Coal is as dangerous, since when burnt it produces solid waste e.g. fly ash and other dangerous metals, over and above the gases it emits. It is however viewed as an important mineral, owing to its wide uses.

Renewable energy such as solar energy is a good substitute for the fossil fuels since they can as well serve and fit into the fossil fuels shoes. Solar energy has minimal effects, like land waste, for setting up equipment to capture the rays. Wind turbines are able to capture much energy at once, and are preferred in industries in homes and industries by being cost effective and less hazardous. The only issue is that is no way the amount of wind in a day can be guaranteed, which is a problem if it is the only electricity source. Although nuclear energy cannot be categorized as renewable energy, it certainly offers alternative energy to fossil fuels. It produces clean electricity at extremely low costs, and it doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases. The reaction however by nuclear energy produces radioactive wastes, which makes it not different from fossils, in terms of hazards involved

If I was in a position of authority, I would use the incentive based regulations. This is because there is need to encourage environment conservation by the industries, other than discouraging pollution. This will encourage innovation and technological advancement, as these companies will have a goal, beyond conservation and compliance.

References (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2015, from


Hulme, M. (2009). Why we disagree about climate change: Understanding controversy, inaction

and opportunity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

IPCC WG2 (2001). Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Working

Group II Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report [J.J. McCarthy, O.F. Canziani, N. A. Leary, D. J. Dokken, K. S. White, Eds.] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Stavins, Robert N. “Economic Incentives for Environmental Regulation.” Discussion Paper E-

97-02, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Stuart,R.(2013).Command and control regulation .Retrieved from http ://w ww.eoearth .org/vi


Warhurst, A., & Noronha, L. (2000). Environmental policy in mining: Corporate strategy and

planning for closure. Boca Raton: Lewis.