France imposes tax on CO2 emissions; New York's Financial District in High Waters?

by Aman Singh Das | September 11, 2009

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Two very interesting pieces of news from France and New York today that can potentially affect all of us as consumers and as workers, although the first one won't affect us spoiled Americans just yet.

Starting January 2010, France will impose a tax on fossil fuels or the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by households and companies. Here's how this will work: People in France will have to pay 17 European cents for every gallon of heating oil they use, 15 European cents for every gallon of gas they consume, and so on.

Europe has so far been ahead of the U.S. in realizing and addressing climate change and holding individuals and companies accountable for their carbon emissions. This, then, is continued legislation in the right direction. If you are reading this from a U.S. city, I'd suggest paying these developments some attention. Because like it or not, regulations like these will hit our door sooner than later if we as employees, employers and consumers don't start proactively addressing offsetting our carbon footprints.

And now the second piece of news from New York. Scientists tracking water and ocean levels have said that New York's water levels are rising faster than most other ports. In simple English, that means that New York with a tremendous amount of its infrastructure below the ground could be in trouble. It only needs a hurricane-like surge in the water levels to flood the city. The economic results? Disastrous for a city already reeling from the recession.

But city planners are saying it isn't doomsday yet. Here's a quote from the story in WSJ: "If we have to shut the stock exchange for a day because water is running down Wall Street, that's not unprecedented." Meanwhile, scientists are debating the need for giant mobile bulwarks similar to one's used in London for the low-lying financial district and subways. So if you work on Wall Street, while it might not be time just yet to start looking for jobs away from the city that never sleeps, it might be prudent to keep yourself updated on the developments. To read the complete story, click here.

Filed Under: CSR

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