GLOBE-Net, July 4, 2012 - British Columbia's
carbon tax has broad-based support from businesses,
non-governmental organizations, academics and community leaders,
and most think the policy has been positive for the province.
A new study released by the
Pembina Institute assesses the overall consequences of the carbon
tax based on input from BC's economic and social sectors.
Results point to a growing consensus among the study's
respondents that climate change is a threat to the environment and
economy, and that government policy is needed to help minimize the
risks associated with climate change.
Furthermore, while the BC government has examined several policy
options to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -such as
cap-and-trade, for example - respondents preferred a carbon tax,
stating that it is a simpler and more transparent policy
Revenue collected by BC's carbon tax in 2012/13 is estimated to
be $1.17 billion. As currently designed, most of the funds
collected from the carbon tax are used to pay for corporate tax
cuts. However, a majority of respondents in the study stated they
would prefer the money to be invested in projects that reduce GHG
While BC's carbon tax may be the most ambitious carbon pricing
system in North America, the concept has a much longer pedigree
internationally. Carbon tax policies have been in existence in
Scandinavian countries since the early 1990's, and most recently in
Like the BC carbon levy, many of these foreign carbon pricing
systems are designed to be revenue neutral, however, rather than applying
funds towards corporate tax cuts, revenues collected from carbon
taxes are typically used to spur new job opportunities and seek
further opportunities to reduce emissions.
KPMG has just released BC's
Technology Report Card for 2012, revealing the sector as a
leader in both GDP and job creation. The technology industry has
benefitted from the mere presence of the tax, and has the potential
to grow exponentially with "a heightened level of intention in
terms of policy and industry development."
While the BC government undertakes a comprehensive review of the
carbon tax over the next year, the policy presents an
opportunity for the province to firmly establish its leadership in
North America by demonstrating that it is possible to decouple
economic growth from rising GHG emissions.
PICS Climate News Scan - Produced by ISIS, Sauder School of
Business, UBC - Authors: Justin Bull, Liz Ferris, Clea Moray, James
Noble, Tim Shah - Editors: Neil Thomson (ISIS), James Tansey
(ISIS), Jessica Worsley (PICS)