It’s a little bit surprise that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla sent the message at 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference that only a carbon tax- not innovation, conservation or renewable energy- will accelerate the transition from carbon-producing fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Musk always supports a carbon tax. Under his opinion, when tax is weighted heavily on carbon, the users will start to reduce the fuels use in the area. According to Musk, it’s the same scenario how the government taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.
Musk predicted the world will one day run out of carbon to mine and burn, therefore, the sustainable energy is the next solution. However, Musk said that the hidden subsidy for carbon-producing activity is delaying the transition. It results to 35 gigatonnes of carbon per year being emitted. Why this happened? Musk felt that the mainly reason is the rules today incent people to create carbon.
From my perspective, Musk is partially right on his word. But he is doing more than he said. Besides increases the tax burden, the government should also invested in solar , wind, hydrothermal and nuclear power. Musk has a big step on this last year. The Powerwall which has released by Tesla shows the innovation on carbon saving. It can be seen as a strong competitor to those fossil fuel grids.
What’s more, the government should put “hidden subsidy” compensation on new energy. Without encourage, it’s always risky for firms to try new and clean energy, especially when the technology is not mature enough and 100% efficiency.