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Artful Dodger

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Carbon tax
« on: April 16, 2013, 11:19:14 PM »
To start the discussion, here's an insightful article from historian and author Gwynne Dyer:

Why the Chinese government wants a carbon tax. It's short enough to reproduce here, to get the discussion going on a CARBON TAX.

Why the Chinese government wants a carbon tax.


"Last week’s announcement by China’s Ministry of Finance that the country will introduce a carbon tax, probably in the next two years, did not dominate the international headlines. It was too vague about the timetable and the rate at which the tax would be levied, and fossil-fuel lobbyists were quick to portray it as meaningless. But the Chinese are deadly serious about fighting global warming, because they are really scared.           

"A carbon tax, though deeply unpopular with the fossil-fuel industries, is the easiest way to change the behaviour of the people and firms that burn those fuels: it just makes burning them more costly. And if the tax is then returned to the consumers of energy through lower taxes, then it has no overall depressive effect on the economy.

"The Xinhua news agency did not say how big the tax in China would be, but it pointed to a three-year-old proposal by government experts that would have levied a 10-yuan ($1.60) per ton tax on carbon in 2012 and raised it to 50-yuan ($8) a ton by 2020. That is still far below the $80-per-ton tax that would really shrink China’s greenhouse-gas emissions drastically, but at least it would establish the principle that the polluters must pay.

"It’s a principle that has little appeal to U.S. president Barack Obama, who has explicitly promised not to propose a carbon tax. He probably knows that it makes sense, but he has no intention of committing political suicide, the likely result of making such a proposal in the United States. But China is not suffering from political gridlock; if the regime wants something to happen, it can usually make it happen.

"So why is China getting out in front of the parade with its planned carbon tax? No doubt it gives China some leverage in international climate-change negotiations, letting it demand that other countries make the same commitment. But why does it care so much that those negotiations succeed? Does it know something that the rest of us don’t?

"Three or four years ago, while interviewing the head of a think tank in a major country, I was told something that has shaped my interpretation of Chinese policy ever since. If it is true, it explains why the Chinese regime is so frightened of climate change.

"My informant told me that his organization had been given a contract by the World Bank to figure out how much food production his country will lose when the average global temperature has risen by 2 ° C. (On current trends, that will probably happen around 25 years from now.) Similar contracts had been given to think tanks in all the other major countries, he said, but the results have never been published.

"The main impact of climate change on human welfare in the short- and medium-term will be on the food supply. The rule of thumb the experts use is that total world food production will drop by 10 percent for every degree Celsius of warming, but the percentage losses will vary widely from one country to another.

"The director told me the amount of food his own country would lose, which was bad enough—and then mentioned that China, according to the report on that country, would lose a terrifying 38 percent of its food production at plus 2 ° C. The reports were not circulated, but a summary had apparently been posted on the Chinese think tank’s website for a few hours by a rogue researcher before being taken down.

"The World Bank has never published these reports or even admitted to their existence, but it is all too plausible that the governments in question insisted that they be kept confidential. They would not have wanted these numbers to be made public. And there are good reasons to suspect that this story is true.

"Who would have commissioned these contracts? The likeliest answer is Sir Robert Watson, a British scientist who was the director of the environment department at the World Bank at the same time that he was the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"George Bush’s administration had Watson ousted as chair of the IPCC in 2002, but he stayed at the World Bank, where he is now chief scientist and senior adviser on sustainable development. (He has also been chief scientific adviser to the British government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the past six years.)

"He would have had both the motive and the opportunity to put those contracts out, but he would not have had the clout to get the reports published. When I asked him about it a few years ago, he neither confirmed nor denied their existence. But if the report on China actually said that the country will lose 38 percent of its food production when the average global temperature is 2 ° C higher, it would explain why the regime is so scared.

"No country that lost almost two-fifths of its food production could avoid huge social and political upheavals. No regime that was held responsible for such a catastrophe would survive. If the Chinese regime thinks that is what awaits it down the road, no wonder it is thinking of bringing in a carbon tax."

Author credit: Gwynne Dyer, March 2013
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 03:32:44 AM by Artful Dodger »
Cheers!
Lodger

Jim Hunt

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 10:47:53 AM »
They may be suffering from the delusion that "climate change has plateaued", but at least The Economist have nonetheless been consistently promoting the idea of a carbon tax. I do have some sympathy for their latest leader on the topic - "Bonfire of the subsidies". However are The Economist(s) right when they say:

Quote
Moving to an ever-lower-carbon economy at a deliberate pace is a good idea. The best way to do it is to set a carbon tax and let the market decide the cheapest, cleanest answer while researching future alternatives. Some renewable technologies would play a big role in that. But those who pursue renewable energy as an end in itself fail to see the wood for the trees.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Artful Dodger

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 09:15:42 PM »
Hi folks,

Renowned Climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen recently retired as Director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to pursue advocacy and action on climate change. Jim Hansen, author of the book "Storms of my Grandchildren", is rightly famous as the scientist that warned us in his 1988 testimony to the US Congress that climate change had begun.



Here is Dr. Hansen's proposal on how to implement an effective carbon tax:

Carbon Tax & 100% Dividend vs. Tax & Trade
Testimony of James E. Hansen
to Committee on Ways and Means
United States House of Representatives
25 February 2009

Quote
We have a planet in peril. The President recognizes this. The situation is clear.

Evidence from Earth's history and ongoing climate changes reveal that the dangerous level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is much less than once believed. The safe level is no higher than 350 parts per million, probably less, and we just passed 385 ppm.

Climate change threatens everyone, especially our children and grandchildren, the young and the unborn, who will bear the full brunt through no fault of their own.

It is clear that we cannot burn all fossil fuels, releasing the waste products into the air, without handing our children a situation in which amplifying feedbacks begin to run out of their control, with severe consequences for nature and humanity.

We must face the truth. We cannot burn all of the coal, let alone unconventional fossil fuels, such as oil shale, unless the combustion products are all captured and disposed of, which is implausible.

Read the rest of this 7 page testimony in the PDF linked above.
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 10:31:19 AM »
I did manage to get a piece on the Labour Policy Portal on Carbon Taxes http://www.labourpolicyportal.org.uk/2013/03/carbon-taxes/. It quotes some hpeful signs that the public may less resistant to them than politicians think.  e.g. Friends of the Earth in the USA have published the results of a survey on carbon taxes.
Quote
Carbon tax v. spending cuts: 67 percent of respondents thought that, compared with cutting spending on social and environmental programs, taxing “carbon dioxide pollution from big polluters such as oil, gas and other companies” was a better way to reduce the nation’s deficit (59 percent strongly, 8 percent not strongly). Only 15 percent favoured cutting spending.

I've also had a discussion with Tim Worstall who writes for Forbes Magazine. He supports carbon taxes - up to a point. http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/will-tim-worstall-stick-to-his-principles/.

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Stephen

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 12:56:49 PM »
We've had one in Australia since July 2012, levied at $23 per tonne, but the leader of the opposition, (who is leading in the polls by 55/45 and looks like getting elected next September) has vowed to abolish it.  Meanwhile the government decided to tie it to the Euro carbon trading scheme where the price recently collapsed to $3.

So the future for Australia's Carbon tax isn't looking very good at all.

We really need the big CO2 emitters like China and USA to get on board.  Going it alone just damages the local economy without much effect on total worldwide CO2 levels.
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 02:08:22 PM »
Stephen

This seems strange but true: "David Cameron supports Australian carbon tax" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/8673736/David-Cameron-supports-Australian-carbon-tax.html

In the UK only the Telegraph seems to have reported it.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 03:19:52 PM »
For more on the Australian carbon tax see also David Gould's "Appearance before the Australian Senate environment committee"
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 09:07:15 PM »
World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs - NGOs
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jul/03/world-bank-un-redd-genocide-land-carbon-grab-sengwer-kenya

Thought it is different...there is a scheme that is being pushed forward here in Limousin (France) called carbon +.
The enterprises to be able to pollute pay a tax and this tax helps "managing" the forest. the idea to managing the forest sounds good...oh yes but...The right to pollute doesn't work because once the CO2 in the air, it very difficult to remove it plus climate change is there and I should add that if managing the forest may be good like any industry we really have to count the quantity of carbon released during the processes directly and undirectly...

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 07:59:06 PM »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2019, 07:26:15 AM »
Munich Re CEO calls for higher price on carbon emissions

Quote
Joachim Wenning, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at reinsurer Munich Re, has urged European policymakers to increase the cost of emitting carbon, according to reports from the Financial Times.

Wenning believes that such a move would create financial incentives to accelerate the switch from fossil fuels to renewables, thereby helping to limit the effects of global warming.

“On the current trajectory of carbon emissions, we have to expect an increase of global temperatures by 3.5C by the end of the century,” the FT quoted Wenning as saying.

“The property damage is [already] bad enough, but the toll of human victims would rise significantly,” he added, warning of the impact on areas vulnerable to drought and coastal flooding.

Wenning explained that the introduction of a meaningful price on carbon emission could be done either by emissions trading or by a tax on carbon.

He pointed to the example of Sweden’s regime, which puts a tax of €115 on every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, compared with the European system that charges €24 per tonne.

“The CO2 price needs to be high,” Wenning said, remarking that the use of fossil energy needs to become economically unviable for some of the largest consumers.

The Munich Re boss also acknowledged that a higher price on carbon could cause some carbon-reliant companies to go out of business. “A responsible government needs to keep these effects in mind,” he noted.

Link >> https://www.reinsurancene.ws/munich-re-ceo-calls-for-higher-price-on-carbon-emissions/

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Carbon tax
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2019, 06:17:03 PM »
Alberta to reimpose carbon tax:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mckenna-imposes-carbon-tax-alberta-1.5174482
Well, not exactly. Alberta is having a carbon tax reimposed on it by the federal government. Canada decided to institute a national minimum carbon tax, but did not impose a particular tax on the provinces, allowing them to decide precisely how to build in a price on carbon. Canada is the referee, deciding if a provinces actions are effective. Some provinces have a carbon price that satisfies Canada- such as B.C., some, in a fit of pique, removed a satisfactory carbon tax so Canada had to impose a tax on them This is what Alberta did. It removed its carbon tax, now its government can blame Canada for the carbon tax. The province has hitched its wagon firmly to some of the most carbon intensive fossil fuels on the planet (coal, fracked O&G, bitumen mining), and single handedly making it impossible for Canada to achieve its Paris commitments.