British Columbia gets consumer-based carbon tax

Published: Monday 31 March 2008

For the first time in North America, the Canadian province of British Columbia has introduced a consumer-based tax on carbon emissions.

Announcing a budget plan for the year, finance minister Carole Taylor said all fossil fuels, including petrol, diesel, natural gas, coal, propane and home-heating fuel, will be taxed on the basis of their carbon emissions from July 1. The taxation will begin at us $10 per tonne of carbon emissions, rising to us $30 per tonne by 2012. This means, for a litre of petrol, consumers will pay an extra 2.4 cents this year, which will rise up to 7.2 cents by 2012. While emissions trading schemes have emerged as the preferred solution among market mechanisms to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the plan will help consumers to think about alternatives, said Taylor. It will also help the government earn revenue, an estimated us $1.75 billion over the next three years, to provide incentives for people and businesses to become energy efficient.

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