IELTS Band 9 essay, topic: Increases in fuel prices are the only way to reduce world consumption of fuel (agree/disagree)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is likely to score IELTS Band 9.

Set 1 Academic book, Practice Test 3

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Although the prices of fuels have greatly increased over the last decade or two, it is argued that further increases in fuel prices are the only way to reduce world consumption of fuel and lessen pressure on the world’s fuel resources.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Answer

Oil, gas and coal are all non-renewable resources. This is known worldwide, as well as the fact that society lives above its demands. Even though fuel prices have increased significantly over the last decade, consumption will still cause these resources to run out eventually. It has been argued that the only way to decrease the usage of fuel is to further increase the prices.

Currently, most people think in the present and do not consider the future enough. Therefore, to affect people in their everyday lives, fuel prices ought to be raised. It is theorised that this will significantly decrease fossil fuel usage, as economic impact will be forced onto current users. It is necessary that fuel prices are high enough to immediately decrease the wealth of a family and make more people switch to public transport. Critics of this would argue, however, that society’s fossil fuels, such as petrol for cars, have an inelastic price and that price hikes would have no effect other than increasing tax and oil company revenues.

In addition, a significant increase in prices would not only impact each individual, but also a whole economy. Fuel prices are not only linked to transport, but also to food production, home heating and entertainment. A rise in prices in all these areas would seriously affect the standard of living of families with limited income and would mean the poorer parts of society would become even poorer.

In conclusion, while raising fuel prices is one of the most commonly-discussed solutions to fuel usage problems, this answer includes too many negative variables. Certainly, increasing fuel prices would create a small reduction of transport usage, but the far-reaching effects would be unfair and unsustainable.  

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