Some people think that companies and private individuals should pay to clear up the pollution they produced. The government should not pay for it. To what extent to you agree or disagree?
A burning question these days is who should be responsible for the damage caused by environmental pollution. Some commentators believe that businesses and people should be responsible for the cost of cleaning up any contamination they cause and not the authorities. I completely agree with this position, but also believe that governments have a role to play.
There are numerous reasons why businesses should pay for contaminating the environment. Firstly, many companies make huge profits and should be held accountable for the damage they do to nature. For example, the Amazon rain forest is being destroyed by companies like McDonald’s in order for people to raise cattle and grow soya beans for their products. Clearly, the earth depends on the Amazon to help regulate the climate. Therefore, companies should mitigate the damage their operations are doing to our planet.
I also agree that individuals have a responsibility towards our environment and should pay up to clean the mess we find ourselves in. Increasingly, this payment will be taxes or higher prices which will go towards protecting our world. For instance, in supermarkets we pay for plastic carriers to help the environment. Importantly, this is where governments can step in; rather than shouldering the financial burden of the clean-up, governments can create laws to ensure that pollution is reduced.
To summarise, I strongly agree that pollution is a serious issue and individuals and companies need to provide compensation. They need to clean up their act, whereas governments need to make it mandatory for companies to minimise their pollution.
By Dr Rob Burton
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