Tax. About as exciting as a dried up piece of toast and a cold
cup-o-tea. But hey, apparently those three letters will save our planet, so get to know them. That’s T, A, X, ….. TAX. Or, for those with a bad memory; Totally Awesome seX (copyrighted especially for the American market).
The following important developments are reported this week in the International Herald Tribune. Their sources are Reuters, Bloomberg & AP.
(1) The US must act to cap its emissions and join the fight against climate change or risk losing global leadership.
(2) The US must therefore;
(a) raise petroleum tax by $1 a gallon (26c a litre)
(b) tighten fuel economy standards for car manufacturers
(c) introduce a nationwide carbon trading system
These points were made in a report by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, who is an energy specialist. John Deutch was head of the CIA 1995-96. Deutch also proposes the expanded use of nuclear power, the development of clean coal technology and sharing the cost of emissions control between rich countries and large emerging nations.
The following points were made this week within a number of EU meetings, including the Tax Forum 2007;
(1) The EU taxation commissioner, Laszlo Kovacs, is urging a shift in the burden of taxation away from labour to emissions. A policy paper is due March 28.
(2) Kovacs was also at a conference on taxes and the environment with the German finance minister this week. The minister said finance ministers would be discussing the issue of using taxation to promote energy conservation as soon as next week.
In Belgium on Monday the government agreed new budgetary measures to cut pollution & curb climate change;
(1) taxes have been imposed on disposable shopping bags, foils and cutlery
(2) taxes to rise on high emission vehicles
The march of the enviro-tax appears to have found a new spring in its step. Best get used to it as they’ve only just started. Time to go on a low carbon diet!