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SA must adopt appropriate carbon taxes early

Carbon emissions
“’ SA needs to ensure
it meets its targets
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 13 December 2010 – Economist Brent Cloete has urged South Africa to adopt the appropriate carbon taxes and climate policies early, if it is to meet the ambitious emissions targets it committed to in the Copenhagen Accord on climate change.

“The Treasury is considering a broad-based carbon tax that will increase the price of products that are carbon-intensive to produce, like cars. If implemented as a tax on coal, which seems likely, it may also increase the cost of fuel,” he pointed out in Nedbank’s Sustainability Outlook for December 2010.

“All indications point to the fact that, whether through enlightened cooperation or trade restrictions, the cost of carbon will become internalised in the near future. Science makes it clear we have no alternative," Cloete said.

“For investors, the implications of possible border carbon adjustment (BCA) are that they probably cannot afford to wait for finalised legislation before seriously considering the impact of carbon pricing on companies,” he said.

BCA is a trade measure that will try to level the playing field between domestic producers facing costly climate change measures and foreign producers facing very few.

“While a BCA could conceivably work in conjunction with any number of domestic climate change regimes, it has been proposed to date as a companion either to a domestic carbon tax or a cap-and-trade scheme,” Cloete added.