BTC: We report, you decide


As noted below, the Prime Minister stood for his last answer today with some interesting news. “The other option, of course, that Ontario and Quebec do not seem to like would be the option of imposing carbon taxes and I can assure everyone when I was in Europe last week, nobody wants that either.”

I’m not much of an economist (never mind an environmentalist or social scientist), so far be it from me to comment directly on the accuracy of the Prime Minister’s assessment. I can though—indeed some meddlesome media ethicists might argue I have a responsibility to—acknowledge what others of more knowledge and schooling have said. So here goes.

The helpfully named Carbon Tax Center points to Finland, some 18 years ago, as the first country to legislate a carbon tax. Sweden apparently followed suit a year later and Britain has since enacted a “climate change levy.”

A 2004 paper out of Berkeley, linked to by the CTC, says “carbon taxes have been introduced in Denmark,  Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom,” while “broader energy taxes” were in place in Germany, Austria and Belgium.

This Wikipedia entry, meanwhile, puts the adherents at Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy and the UK. And, for whatever it’s worth, this AFP dispatch of some months ago has Nicolas Sarkozy endorsing a carbon tax for France.

At last report, all of the above countries were still part of Europe. And several of them have even been visited by our Prime Minister.

(In other news, in a scrum after QP today, John Baird vowed that the “first draft” of his government’s regulations should be available by the fall of 2009.)


BTC: We report, you decide

  1. I was watching Mr. Real Action himself, Environment Minister John Baird today on Don Newman’s show. He said that “the rubber will really hit the road” as of Januuary 1st 2010 in regards to the Conservative’s “Turning the Corner Plan”. Mr. Baird also let us know by showing us the size of the binder containing said plan, that “it’s heavy, it’s weighty”. He sure is a kick, that John Baird.

  2. And of course there is the wildly unpopular Gordon Campbell who announced a carbon tax, and has seen his popularity plummet (plummet means increase, right?)

  3. This post is accurate but incomplete. Every European “carbon” or “CO2” tax that is in place to day was introduced prior to 2000. With the benefit of being able to consider the experiences of the nations that introduced carbon/CO2 taxes between 1990 and 1999, the rest of Europe did not elect to follow. Most notably, per capita fossil fuel consumption and energy-related GHGs have increased faster in all but one of the carbon/CO2-taxing nations thatin the non-CO2-taxing nations. Manufacturing job losses have been greater in the carbon/CO2-taxing nations than in the non-CO2-taxing nations. Danish and German home-owners currently pay over CAD$0.30/kWh for electricity, before delivery charges, but their national electricity grids are still at least 2 times more GHG intensive than Canada’s. I certainly do not intend to suggest that carbon/CO2 taxation has lead to GHG increases. But no one can consider the facts and suggest that it has led to GHG decreases.

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