Top

What is Carbon Tax?

What is Carbon Tax?
Highlights

What is Carbon Tax? A carbon tax is usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels.

A carbon tax is usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels. It puts a price on each tonne of GHG emitted, sending a price signal that will, over time, elicit a powerful market response across the entire economy, resulting in reduced emissions. It has the advantage of providing an incentive without favouring any one way of reducing emissions over another. By reducing fuel consumption, increasing fuel efficiency, using cleaner fuels and adopting new technology, businesses and individuals can reduce the amount they pay in carbon tax, or even offset it altogether.


Carbon tax is a form of pollution tax. It levies a fee on the production, distribution or use of fossil fuels based on how much carbon their combustion emits. The government sets a price per ton on carbon, then translates it into a tax on electricity, natural gas or oil. Because the tax makes using dirty fuels more¬ expensive, it encourages utilities, businesses and individuals to reduce consumption and increase energy efficiency. Carbon tax also makes alternative energy more cost-competitive with cheaper, polluting fuels like coal, natural gas and oil.

Carbon tax is based on the economic principle of negative externalities. Externalities are costs or benefits generated by the production of goods and services. Negative externalities are costs that are not paid for. When utilities, businesses or homeowners consume fossil fuels, they create pollution that has a societal cost; everyone suffers from the effects of pollution. Proponents of a carbon tax believe that the price of fossil fuels should account for these societal costs. More simply put -- if you're polluting to everyone else's detriment, you should have to pay for it.

A number of countries have implemented carbon taxes or energy taxes that are related to carbon content. Most environmentally related taxes with implications for greenhouse gas emissions in OECD countries are levied on energy products and motor vehicles, rather than on CO2 emissions directly. Opposition to increased environmental regulation such as carbon taxes often centres on concerns that firms might relocate and/or people might lose their jobs. It has been argued, however, that carbon taxes are more efficient than direct regulation and may even lead to higher employment.

Show Full Article
Print Article

Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
Next Story
More Stories