The right’s anti-carbon-tax hostility

2018-09-28

in Canada, Economics, Politics, Rants, The environment

A carbon tax is a liberty-respecting, economically efficient mechanism to help address the threat of climate change and build a sustainable, prosperous society. It ought to be welcomed and supported by policy-savvy fair-minded conservatives who want to live up to their ideals while stewarding the integrity of the planet for future generations.

Meanwhile in Canada: UCP Leader Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford to hold anti-carbon tax rally in Calgary

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. October 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Politicians scoff at such hypotheticals. They are loth to upset voters, who dislike taxes, or powerful lobbies in industries that would be hardest hit. So cap-and-trade schemes, which can issue new permits to depress prices, outnumber tax-based ones. The taxes that exist tend to be symbolic. As a result, merely 1% of the emissions covered by both pricing schemes fetch more than $40 per tonne of CO2. That is the lower limit of the $40-80 range that a World Bank-backed committee chaired by Joseph Stiglitz and Lord Nicholas Stern, two economists, considers necessary by 2020 to stay on track for the Paris goal. Existing programmes have barely dented global emissions, which ticked up again last year. Nor do they raise a lot of cash: $30bn annually worldwide. Three-quarters of covered emissions are priced under $10 per tonne.

As a result, carbon prices have not been high enough to drive real changes in behaviour. The price in the EU’s carbon market more than doubled to €18 ($20) this year, after plans to remove excess permits were announced. But forecasts still put it below Messrs Stiglitz’s and Stern’s band. In 2013 Britain introduced an additional levy on top of the EU carbon price that was meant to increase every year. But it has since frozen the fee until 2021. Policies that increase energy bills are rarely popular.

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