Not Lower Present Carbon Emissions
A carbon tax is a great idea, if we had a government honest enough to implement it properly. We should all be concerned with carbon emissions that will be present in our atmosphere for 200 years. Surveys have found high majorities of economists (more than 80 per cent) also support carbon pricing. Justin Trudeau announced a carbon price for all of Canada, starting at a modest $10/ton of CO2 ($0.025/liter of fuel) in 2018 and rising over five years to $50 ($0.125/liter of fuel). The carbon tax would cost the average family about $1,250- $1,500 a year. So it means that we will be paying more for everything. That’s because almost all goods and services consume fossil fuel energy. This is a form of paying a sin tax for using energy, which may not lower emissions. (The $10/ton is equivalent to $0.09/US gal.)
British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax on fuel is equivalent to $30 per ton of emissions. In Alberta, a carbon levy will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20 per ton, starting Jan. 1, 2017, increasing to $30 per ton a year later.
Anyone familiar with carbon pricing knows Trudeau’s minimum price, even at $50 per ton, is far too low to significantly cut emissions. If Canada has any chance of meeting its target, which used to be reducing our emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 30% by 2030, he would need to set a carbon price of about $150 per ton, starting immediately.
Some pricing experts like Simon Fraser University’s Mark Jaccard estimated that the floor price should be $30/ton increasing every year until 2030 to $200/ton. This would be an equivalent of $0.47/liter of gasoline or $1.77/US gal. (1 liter = .264 US gal). Obviously, there would have to be an offsetting general tax reduction so as not to act as an extra burden to the average tax payer.
The Norwegian carbon taxes started in 1991 and were among the highest in the world ($44 US/ton of CO2). Despite significant price increases for some fuel types (13% for gasoline), the carbon tax effect on emissions was modest (a 16 % reduction in emissions). This implies a high cost of reducing emissions from sources on which the tax is levied.