Fighting climate change - Let’s make clean energy tax-free

The Canadian writer, Naomi Klein, has long-argued that climate change is a battle between capitalism and the planet.

Even if you don’t accept her analysis — yet — some business leaders have, and more are beginning to.

This week, Richard Branson gave an indication that even if he does not entirely agree with Klein, he understands her argument.

Speaking in Wicklow, he argued that governments need to abolish taxes on clean energy if the world is to tackle climate change.

“For entrepreneurs, the battle that faces us on global catastrophe is an enormous opportunity,” he said.

“All government has to do is tip the balance towards clean energy... with no taxes on clean energy, but taxes on dirty energy. It’s worked with cigarettes...”

This seems an utterly simple mixing of the pressing and the possible.

Branson is not the only person trying to see how climate destruction might be allayed. This week, Cork City Council made a modest contribution on the same issue, by becoming the first Irish council to stop using disposable cups.

This awakening may help reduce the two million disposable coffee cups sent to landfill sites in Ireland every single day.

This is a spectacular generation of waste for a relatively unimportant, and sometimes unnecessary, reason.

Surely, at this stage, we should know better. Klein would ban disposable cups and Branson might sell Virgin mugs for repeated use, but do we really need to be shown what we have to do?

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