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Carbon Levy is Gaining Traction

There is growing support in North America for a Carbon Tax or Carbon Levy as it continues to gain traction.  (Most governments prefer “Levy”, as the intent is to modify behaviour, not generate revenue.)

Carbon Levy Support

The reasons can be lumped into three broad categories:

  1. We know more.
    (Increased Knowledge of climate change science, carbon tax economics, and political special interest groups).
    1. Scientists agree that Climate Change is real and a danger to the planet.
      1. “Global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”  American Association for the Advancement of Science.
      2. “Climate change is real…a very serious problem.”  American Chemical Society
      3. “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.”  American Geophysical Union.
      4. “We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”  American Physical Society.
      5. “Warming of the Climate system is unequivocal”, “Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems”  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    2. “A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.”  (Wall Street Journal letter from 45 top economists).  Economists agree that putting a price on carbon will:
      1. Put (part of) the cost of the GHG emissions onto the emitters.  Climate Change will have huge costs for society.  Those costs should be included in the cost of the fuel.
      2. Spur innovation to conserve and to find less costly and less carbon-intensive energy.  This, in turn, will have positive growth in medium and long-term GDP growth.
      3. Reduce short-term GDP growth. Most estimates are in the 0.1% range, much lower than any errors in their estimates.
    3. Special interest groups that actively lobby governments are starting to back a carbon tax.
      1. Koch brothers (Oil Billionaires) have funnelled about $150M to climate denial groups, and continue to do so.
      2. Others, however, are changing and urging US lawmakers to pass carbon tax laws, including Exxon, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Mobile Corp.
  2. We want to do what is right.
    (Altruistic – we understand that Climate Change must be addressed, and are willing to do our part).
    1. 72% of Canadians support a Revenue Neutral Carbon Levy.
    2. 65% of Ontarians are opposed to the Ford government advertising against the federal carbon price.  Only 20% of Ontarians are in favour of the ads.
    3. 75 Fortune 500 companies are urging US lawmakers to pass carbon tax laws, including (as mentioned earlier) Exxon, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Mobile Corp.
  3. We will directly benefit.
    (We understand that addressing Climate Change will have little negative effect and could have significant positive effects.)
    1. People now see the climate changes that scientists have predicted.
      1. The last 5 years have been the warmest on record, and 9 of the top 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005.
      2. Floods, droughts, extreme heatwaves, hurricanes, and tornadoes are becoming more frequent and more intense.
    2. 8 of 10 Ontario households will receive more money from the Carbon Levy rebate than they will spend in the Carbon Levy.
      1. To a great degree, a taxpayer can change how much they pay for a Carbon Levy by reducing fuel consumption.
    3. People are seeing the additional benefits of energy conservation through reduced utility and fuel costs.  Hybrid vehicles are no longer just for early adopters.  Electric vehicles are becoming more common.