The Certainties in Life: Death, Taxes, and Global Warming? an Analysis of Border Tax Adjustments as Incentives for Promoting Worldwide Energy Efficiency

By Gates, Kayla | Suffolk Transnational Law Review, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

The Certainties in Life: Death, Taxes, and Global Warming? an Analysis of Border Tax Adjustments as Incentives for Promoting Worldwide Energy Efficiency


Gates, Kayla, Suffolk Transnational Law Review


I. INTRODUCTION

Benjamin Franklin once wrote: "[I]n the world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes." (1) Over 200 years later, there may now be another certainty in life: global warming. (2) Perhaps we can use one certainty to avert another. (3) One way to help alleviate global warming is to encourage environmentally responsible conduct through taxes, as taxes serve as an incentive influencing people's lifestyle choices. (4) For example, some countries offer tax breaks for constructing energy efficient buildings and driving electric cars to reduce carbon emissions. (5) Although ecotaxes are currently in place, to establish a norm of environmental respect worldwide, the World Trade Organization (WTO) should implement border tax adjustments (BTAs) on exports manufactured using inefficient energy technologies. (6)

This Note will propose the implementation of export taxes on goods produced using inefficient manufacturing processes and analyze whether such taxes would comply with WTO regulations. (7) Part II of this Note will discuss the causes and potential future effects of global warming. (8) Part III of this Note will discuss the history of BTAs, as well as the structure and functions of the WTO. (9) In Part IV, this Note will analyze the benefits of BTAs as incentives promoting energy efficiency. (10) Finally, Part V of this Note will support the need for the WTO to weigh environmental concerns above commercial matters. (11)

II. FACTS

A. Global Warming

1. Causes of Climate Change

Recently, much debate has surfaced regarding the magnitude and uncertainty of how global warming will affect the Earth and whether global warming is exacerbated by human activities. (12) However, according to NASA, certain facts and observations regarding Earth's recent climate change are indisputable. (13) For example, sea levels have risen about 17 centimeters in the last century, and the rate of sea level increase in the last decade is nearly twice that of the last century. (14) Additionally, ocean temperatures increased 0.302[degrees]F since 1969, and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica decreased in mass about 36 and 60 cubic miles between 2002 and 2006. (15) Scientists have come to accept these observations regarding climate change as proof that global warming is real. (16)

While scientists are certain that global warming is happening, they have spent years trying to determine exactly what is causing it. (17) Although scientists have determined that certain natural events have been a factor in climate change, nature alone cannot explain the significant increase in global warming that has occurred in recent years. (18) According to National Geographic, the recent increase in global warming is attributable to greenhouse gases emitted by human activity, such as the combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories, and electricity production. (19) These greenhouse gases absorb the heat radiating from Earth and trap the heat in the atmosphere, thereby causing the planet's surface temperature to rise. (20) Additionally, certain gases in the atmosphere prevent heat from escaping into space and remain semi-permanently in the atmosphere. (21) Human activity has exacerbated the greenhouse effect as our industrial activities have only increased the amount of greenhouse gases that seep into the atmosphere. (22)

2. The Future of Global Warming

Climatologists know with virtual certainty that Earth's temperature has risen about 1.0 to 1.7[degrees]F between 1906 and 2005. (23) Additionally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that the probability that human activities have warmed the Earth over the past 250 years is more than 90%. (24) Although speculation exists among the science of climate change, climatologists claim that their "understanding of global warming processes and computer models have improved" significantly over the years.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Certainties in Life: Death, Taxes, and Global Warming? an Analysis of Border Tax Adjustments as Incentives for Promoting Worldwide Energy Efficiency
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.