A GOVERNMENT taskforce investigating
ways of reducing business emissions
of greenhouse gases has endorsed an
energy tax on businesses in the UK.
Lord Marshall, chairperson of British
Airways, who headed the taskforce said:
"My conclusion is that there probably is
a role for a tax if businesses of all sizes
and from all sectors are to contribute to
improved energy efficiency and help
meet UK's emission targets."
His report recommends a system of
tradable emissions permits for large
businesses, alongside an energy tax with
revenues to be funnelled into energysaving schemes. Marshall said that the
revenues from the tax would be invested
in energy-saving schemes and technologies. He also urged the government to
come up with rebates for energyintensive users to reduce the overall
impact on these industries.
Lord Marshall said that the government should consider setting up a pilot
emission -trading project to help UK
companies and financial institutions
develop the expertise needed to lead an
international scheme in the future.
Some environmentalists feel that the
present proposal of energy tax covers
only large companies. What is needed
is to introduce a tax for small and
medium-sized companies to improve
their energy efficiency, they say. These
companies collectively account for
more than 60 per cent of total carbon
dioxide emissions from business.
They say that the tax proposal
should be a "downstream" tax on the
final use of energy by industrial and
commercial consumers. Tax rates
should reflect the carbon content of
fuels, in an attempt to maximise the
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