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Regulatory Policy vs Economic Incentives - The Environmental Literacy Council
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These risks range from direct threats to physical military assets to more indirect effects like regional destabilization. Everyone is already feeling the effects of climate change. But the impacts — on health, economics, and overall quality of life — are far more acute on communities of color, tribal lands, and low-income communities.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the way in which environmental burdens and benefits have been and will continue to be distributed unevenly along racial and socioeconomic lines — not just with respect to climate change, but also pollution of our air, water, and land. The evidence of these disproportionate harms is clear. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, African Americans are almost 3 times more likely to die from asthma related causes than their white counterparts. And according to the U. Biden will reinstate federal protections, rolled back by the Trump Administration, that were designed to protect communities.
He will make it a priority for all agencies to engage in community-driven approaches to develop solutions for environmental injustices affecting communities of color, low-income, and indigenous communities. Hold polluters accountable. Under the Trump Administration, the U. Environmental Protection Agency EPA has referred the fewest number of criminal anti-pollution cases to the Justice Department in 30 years. Allowing corporations to continue to pollute — affecting the health and safety of both their workers and surrounding communities — without consequences perpetuates an egregious abuse of power.
Biden will direct his EPA and Justice Department to pursue these cases to the fullest extent permitted by law and, when needed, seek additional legislation as needed to hold corporate executives personally accountable — including jail time where merited. Ensure access to safe drinking water for all communities. Communities across America are experiencing a water crisis, in water infrastructure, contamination, accessibility and so much more. Here in the U. In much of the southwest and west, the problem is a lack of sufficient water, expected to exacerbate with a changing climate.
Biden will make water infrastructure a top priority, for example, by establishing systems to monitor lead and other contaminants in our water supply and take necessary action to eliminate health risks, including holding polluters accountable and support communities in upgrading their systems. Safe and Clean Water for All Americans. Southwestern U. Western U.
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As a result of the warming climate: more precipitation falls as rain, rather than snow; there is less snow accumulation in the mountains, and snow melts faster in the spring because of the warmer temperatures and increased rainfall. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere acidifies the ocean, and as climate warms, the ocean holds less oxygen. Alaska is the fastest-warming U. Warmer temperatures are melting permafrost, creating sinkholes and erosion that damages buildings, roads, and pipelines.
Sea level rise is beginning to threaten coastal resources, including structures, roads, cultural sites, beaches, and key infrastructure. A recent report estimated that a 1m sea level rise would cost the state 19 billion just for structures and flooded land — and ten times that for the associated damage to roads and other infrastructure, loss of visitors, and impacts to natural resources. Ensure that communities harmed by climate change and pollution are the first to benefit from the Clean Economy Revolution.
As President, Biden will make sure these communities receive preference in competitive grant programs in the Clean Economy Revolution. Biden will commit our country to fulfilling our obligation to all workers impacted by the energy transition, like coal miners and power plant workers and their communities.
Coal miners and power plant workers took on dangerous jobs to power our industrial revolution and the decades of subsequent economic growth. As economic trends continue to shift our country away from coal as an energy source, we have an obligation to help these workers and their communities succeed. Secure the benefits coal miners and their families have earned. Biden will make sure coal miners and their families receive not only the respect they deserve but also the pensions and health benefits they have been promised.
Congress should do the right thing and pass legislation now to protect the retirement benefits owed to miners, their dependents, and their widows. Invest in coal and power plant communities and other communities impacted by the climate transformation. Each of these communities are necessary. Each has assets that can be leveraged to diversify their economies, create good, middle class jobs, and help the country get stronger — assets like a rich culture, natural beauty, a proven workforce, and entrepreneurial spirit. The federal government should be a partner to help these communities capitalize on these strengths and build vibrant communities where good jobs are available and young people want to stay or return home.
For example, the Task Force will help these communities access federal investments and leverage private sector investments to help create high-paying union jobs based upon the unique assets of each community, partner with unions and community colleges to create training opportunities for these new jobs, repair infrastructure, keep public employees like firefighters and teachers on the payroll, and keep local hospitals open. The Obama-Biden Administration kick-started a new era of American leadership in renewable energy by making significant investments in clean energy technology and promulgating regulations to curb carbon emissions.
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The Biden Plan will: Ensure the U. On day one, Biden will sign a series of new executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track. And, he will demand that Congress enacts legislation in the first year of his presidency that: 1 establishes an enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets no later than the end of his first term in , 2 makes a historic investment in clean energy and climate research and innovation, 3 incentivizes the rapid deployment of clean energy innovations across the economy, especially in communities most impacted by climate change.
Build a stronger, more resilient nation. On day one, Biden will make smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change. Every dollar spent toward rebuilding our roads, bridges, buildings, the electric grid, and our water infrastructure will be used to prevent, reduce, and withstand a changing climate. As President, Biden will use the convening power of government to boost climate resilience efforts by developing regional climate resilience plans, in partnership with local universities and national labs, for local access to the most relevant science, data, information, tools, and training.
Rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change. He will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change — he will go much further than that. He will lead an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets. He will fully integrate climate change into our foreign policy and national security strategies, as well as our approach to trade.
Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities. Vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted by the climate emergency and pollution. The Biden plan will ensure that communities across the country from Flint, Michigan to Harlan, Kentucky to the New Hampshire Seacoast have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Fulfill our obligation to workers and communities who powered our industrial revolution and subsequent decades of economic growth. The rate of Antarctica ice mass loss has tripled in the last decade. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and is accelerating slightly every year. Oregon lawmakers have introduced a carbon cap and trade proposal that would set a 52 million metric ton cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
Twenty-nine states, three territories, and Washington D. Cities are creatively tackling this problem including by implementing energy taxes that reduce emissions Boulder, CO , electrifying public transit e. Damage to communication, energy, and transportation infrastructure could affect low-lying military bases, inflict economic costs, and cause human displacement and loss of life. Further, deteriorating economic conditions in climate-impacted areas could increase piracy and terrorist activity, requiring a US military response.
Rising sea levels and related storm surges may result in the closure of at-risk military installations. Further, increasingly intense hurricanes cause structural damage to bases. Droughts negatively affect military operations by reducing water supply, delaying training activities, and increasing the rate of heat-related illnesses among soldiers. The new scheme will impose a cap on carbon emissions for 31 countries.
The impact of human health co-benefits on evaluations of global climate policy
Overall, since its conception, the EU ETS has been characterized by relatively high levels of policy uncertainty. As a result, the scheme has resulted in a rather informal and tepid response by regulated organizations. The "Linking Directive" allows operators to use a certain amount of Kyoto certificates from flexible mechanism projects in order to cover their emissions. These Certified Emission Reductions CERs can be obtained by implementing emission reduction projects in developing countries, outside the EU, that have ratified or acceded to the Kyoto Protocol.
The implementation of Clean Development Projects is largely specified by the Marrakech Accords , a follow-on set of agreements by the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The legislators of the EU ETS drew up the scheme independently but called on the experiences gained during the running of the voluntary UK Emissions Trading Scheme in the previous years,  and collaborated with other parties to ensure its units and mechanisms were compatible with the design agreed through the UNFCCC.
Those countries then allocate allowances to their industrial operators, and track and validate the actual emissions in accordance with the relevant assigned amount. They require the allowances to be retired after the end of each year. Like any other financial instrument , trading consists of matching buyers and sellers between members of the exchange and then settling by depositing a valid allowance in exchange for the agreed financial consideration.
Much like a stock market , companies and private individuals can trade through brokers who are listed on the exchange, and need not be regulated operators. When each change of ownership of an allowance is proposed, the national Emissions Trading Registry and the European Commission are informed in order for them to validate the transaction. However, the EU was not able to link trades from all its countries until because of its technical problems connecting to the UN systems.
The total number of permits issued either auctioned or allocated determines the supply for the allowances. The actual price is determined by the market. Too many allowances compared to demand will result in a low carbon price, and reduced emission abatement efforts. The first and foremost criterion is that the proposed total quantity is in line with a Member State's Kyoto target.
Of course, the Member State's plan can, and should, also take account of emission levels in other sectors not covered by the EU ETS, and address these within its own domestic policies. This approach has been criticized  as giving rise to windfall profits , being less efficient than auctioning, and providing too little incentive for innovative new competition to provide clean, renewable energy. To address these problems, [ citation needed ] the European Commission proposed various changes in a January package, including the abolishment of NAPs from and auctioning a far greater share ca.
From the start of Phase III January there will be a centralised allocation of permits, not National Allocation Plans, with a greater share of auctioning of permits. Allocation can act as a means of addressing concerns over loss of competitiveness , and possible "leakage" carbon leakage of emissions outside the EU.
Leakage is the effect of emissions increasing in countries or sectors that have weaker regulation of emissions than the regulation in another country or sector. Correcting for leakage by allocating permits acts as a temporary subsidy for affected industries, but does not fix the underlying problem. Border adjustments would be the economically efficient choice, where imports are taxed according to their carbon content. Within a certain trading period, banking and borrowing is allowed. For example, a EUA can be used in banking or in borrowing.
Interperiod borrowing is not allowed. However, the prior existence of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme meant that market participants were already in place and ready. In , carbon prices for the trial phase dropped to near zero for most of the year. Meanwhile, prices for Phase II remained significantly higher throughout, reflecting the fact that allowances for the trial phase were set to expire by 31 December Verified emissions show a net increase over the first phase of the scheme. For the countries for which data was available, emissions increased by 1.
Consequently, observers have accused national governments of abusing the system under industry pressure, and have urged for far stricter caps in the second phase — The second phase —12 expanded the scope of the scheme significantly. Although this was a theoretical possibility in phase I, the over-allocation of permits combined with the inability to bank them for use in the second phase meant it was not taken up.
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The full activation process will include the migration of over 30, EU ETS accounts from national registries. Aviation emissions were to be included from The airline industry and other countries including China, India, Russia, and the United States reacted adversely to the inclusion of the aviation sector. The EU insisted that the regulation should be applied equally to all carriers, and that it did not contravene international regulations.
In the absence of a global agreement on airline emissions, the EU argued that it was forced to go ahead with its own scheme. But only flights within the EEA are covered; international flights are not. Ultimately, the Commission intended that the third trading period should cover all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including aviation, maritime transport, and forestry. The annual Member State CO 2 yearly allowances in million tonnes are shown in the table:.
Additional installations and emissions included in the second trading period are not included in this table but are given in the sources. CCC , p. Prices for EU allowances for December delivery dropped 8. The market had been oversupplied with permits. In July , Thomson Reuters Point Carbon stated that it considered that without intervention to reduce the supply of allowances, the price of allowances would fall to four Euros. As well as more sectors and gases included in Phase III. Also, millions of allowances set aside in the New Entrants Reserve NER to fund the deployment of innovative renewable energy technologies and carbon capture and storage through the NER programme,one of the world's largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon energy demonstration projects.
Phase IV will commence on 1 January and finish on 31 December The European Commission plans a full review of the Directive by Connie Hedegaard, the EU Commissioner for Climate Change, hoped "to link up the ETS with compatible systems around the world to form the backbone of a global carbon market" with Australia cited as an example. Before the European Council summit on 20 March ,  the European Commission decided to propose a change in the functioning of the carbon market CO 2 permits.
The reserve would operate on predefined rules with no discretion for the Commission or Member States. The European Parliament and the European council informally agreed on an adapted version of this proposal, which sets the starting date of the MSR to so already in Phase III , puts the million backloaded allowances in the reserve and reduces the reaction time of the MSR to one year.
This adapted proposal has already passed the European parliament and is to be approved by the Council of ministers in September Emissions in the EU have been reduced at costs that are significantly lower than projected,  though transaction costs are related to economies of scale and can be significant for smaller installations. It was suggested that if permits were auctioned, and the revenues used effectively, e. However, some governments and industry representatives lobby for their inclusion.
The inclusion is currently opposed by NGOs as well as the EU commission itself, arguing that sinks are surrounded by too many scientific uncertainties over their permanence and that they have inferior long-term contribution to climate change compared to reducing emissions from industrial sources. A phishing scam is suspected to have enabled hackers to log into unsuspecting companies' carbon credit accounts and transfer the allowances to themselves, allowing them to then be sold. The European Commission said it would "proceed to determine together with national authorities what minimum security measures need to be put in place before the suspension of a registry can be lifted".
Maria Kokkonen, EC spokeswoman for climate issues, said that national registries can be reopened once sufficient security measures have been enacted and member countries submit to the EC a report of their IT security protocol. The Czech registry said there are still legal and administrative hurdles to be overcome and Jiri Stastny, chairman of OTE AS, the Czech registry operator, said that until there is recourse for victims of such theft, and a system is in place to return allowances to their rightful owners, the Czech registry will remain closed.
Registry officials in Germany and Estonia have confirmed they have located , allowances stolen from the Czech registry, according to Mr. The security breaches raised fears among some traders that they might have unknowingly purchased stolen allowances which they might later have to forfeit. In December a German court sentenced six people to jail terms of between three years and seven years and 10 months in a trial involving evasion of taxes on carbon permits.
A French court sentenced five people to one to five years in jail, and to pay massive fines for evading tax through carbon trading. Seinen also commented that the EU ETS needed to be supported by other policies for technology and renewable energy. According to CCC , p. Jones et al.
The EU ETS has been criticized  for several failings, including: over-allocation, windfall profits, price volatility, and in general for failing to meet its goals.