David Suzuki supports the carbon tax

In a report released on Friday, David Suzuki and economist Mark Jaccard have proposed a carbon tax offset by income tax relief.

The report argues that most of that revenue could be used to slash personal income taxes.

“Let’s put the ‘eco’ back into economics and make sure that economics considers the ecological implications of the way we live,” said Dr. Suzuki, who attended yesterday’s press conference to release the report.

British Columbia introduced a carbon tax on the economy in its budget last week as a way of reducing greenhouse gases.

“We now know that taxation is a very powerful incentive to discourage things that we don’t want and relief of taxes can encourage the things we want,” said Dr. Suzuki, who wants the B.C. model to “sweep across the country.”

2 responses to “David Suzuki supports the carbon tax”

  1. Ali writes:

    Another tax will not solve global warming. Carbon pollution will only decline after we change our attitudes and beliefs and life styles. Carbon tax another way to delay constructive active towards global warming.

  2. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Ali,

    I absolutely agree with you that we need to change our attitudes and beliefs and lifestyles. That’s why the carbon tax is so great, because it nudges us to do that.

    When you say “another tax”, it suggests “additional tax”. A proper carbon tax would not be another burden to pay, because it should be offset by income and payroll tax deductions. So the government would collect no more money than it used to.

    But by shifting where we collect tax onto things we actually want to discourage, instead of taxing activities we want to encourage, we give the economy a nudge in the right direction. Pay for what you burn, not what you earn.

    Of course, you’re also right that a carbon tax won’t solve global warming by itself either. We need to restructure our finances not only based on where we collect taxes, but also where we spend them. Rather than subsidizing profitable oil companies and automakers and sinking money into expensive nuclear research, we need to start investing in public transit, energy retrofits, renewable electricity and above all conservation.

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