Home > Africa > A case for South Africa’s carbon tax | Pambazuka

A case for South Africa’s carbon tax | Pambazuka

A carbon tax could be one policy instrument to tackle climate change, poverty and unemployment if it is designed and used correctly.

“To expect governments funded and appointed by [the upper] class to protect the biosphere and defend the poor is like expecting a lion to live on gazpacho.” – George Monbiot

In the wake of largely disappointing global summits such as Rio+ 20 and COP 17, and in the face of rapidly increasing global environmental degradation, an urgent wake-up call should be sounded that we need solutions to issues of sustainable development and climate change outside of inefficient and unyielding UN structures. One such potential solution, which is currently receiving considerable attention, is the implementation of carbon taxing, whereby greenhouse gas emitters are taxed in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas equivalent that they produce.

As far back as 1978 Yale Economist William Nordhaus argued that the most effective way to deal with climate change is to implement such a carbon tax and since then at least 10 countries, along with a number of local and regional governments, have followed his advice. Along with Nordhaus many experts suggest that a carbon tax will be the most efficient way of bringing about economy-wide carbon reductions, as it would result in higher prices for carbon-intensive goods and services, creating a strong market pull by rewarding innovation and investment in renewable energy and low-carbon development.

For more on this story, visit: Pambazuka – A case for South Africa’s carbon tax.

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