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Carbon Caps

According to a recent study, the world will be emitting 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the year 2050. As of this writing, the United States contributes around 7 billion metric tons of carbon gases into the atmosphere every year. The U. S. is also largely pursuing new technology that would make carbon sequestration work.


As demand for electricity increases annually by 1.5-percent, electricity companies cannot be expected to agree over the implementation of self-imposed carbon caps. And yet, with the present worldwide concern over the ill effects of global warming and cataclysmic climate change, legislation will be passed to curb CO2 emissions in a span of ten years.

Seeing the need to really curb emissions and stall untoward environmental change, the European Union devised plans to implement self-imposed carbon caps. The next decade will determine how the EU will pursue this cause. At the onset, this endeavor will entail new technologies in power generation, lifestyles, travel and even leisure.

However, the EU strongly upholds its call to preserve the environment for the next generation of humans through carbon caps. Extreme focus will be expended for power generation activities, since majority of carbon dioxide emissions come from power plants.

The United States and Australia will be hard pressed to adhere to their opposing views on carbon caps because of pressure from international communities. The European Union is adamant to adhere to carbon caps because 75-percent of power generation over their domains is run by coal-fired power plants.

American government opposition is quite understandable because the US lies on top of the world's biggest coal deposits along with China. Australia also has a considerable amount of this resource, so it will be extremely difficult for these nations to agree on carbon caps.

One of the sore spots in the carbon caps theory is whether China and India will join in to implement self-imposed carbon caps. Not doing so will be technically unfair to other countries, since China and India are top contributors to carbon dioxide pollution.

Moreover, they are not consignees to the Kyoto Protocol, which likewise exempts them from the imposition, being developing countries. The concept of carbon trading is not also applicable, since said act will not materially reduce carbon dioxide emissions but only transfer the right to emit more into the atmosphere, from one country to another, even if they have to pay more.

If the United States can jumpstart the technology on carbon sequestration, then that will surely help reduce global carbon emissions. If not, we will still most likely continue our coal gasification technologies to be implemented with energy plants, to thereby adhere to the provisions of the "Clean Air Act".

But, hopefully massive investments will be expended for wind driven power plants and other renewable sources of energy such as solar and geothermal energy plants. From the looks of it, other countries will vie more on harnessing hydroelectric energy as it is seen as cost effective and likewise free from instances of carbon emissions. One area of concern however is the untoward proliferation, once again, of nuclear power plants.

As the demand for green power continues to gain ground, nuclear energy will be the best substitute to the demands of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, many power companies in the US are now applying for pertinent permits to authorize them to construct nuclear facilities, precisely to answer the growing needs for energy in the midst of an environmental crisis.

Though this proposition puts forward the risk of another Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incident from happening all over again, the energy companies say the gains outweigh the risks. If carbon caps do ever come into being in the U. S., most likely many different sources of new technology will be used such as new generation nuclear power, clean coal technology and renewable energy.

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