carbon tax

Synonyms

carbon dioxide tax, carbon charge, CO2 tax, energy tax, emission tax, emission charge, emission fee

Definition

A carbon tax is a levy on the carbon content of fossil fuels. Because virtually all of the carbon in fossil fuels is ultimately emitted as carbon dioxide, a carbon tax is equivalent to an emission tax on each unit of CO2- equivalent emissions. An energy tax - a levy on the energy content of fuels - reduces demand for energy and so reduces carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. An eco-tax is designed to influence human behaviour (specifically economic behaviour) to follow an ecologically benign path. An international carbon/emission/energy tax is a tax imposed on specified sources in participating countries by an international agreement. A harmonised tax commits participating countries to impose a tax at a common rate on the same sources. A tax credit is a reduction of tax in order to stimulate purchasing of or investment in a certain product, like GHG emission reducing technologies. A carbon charge is the same as a carbon tax.(IPPC)

Wikipedia definition:

A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a form of carbon pricing. Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel (coal, petroleum, and natural gas) and is released as carbon dioxide (CO2) when they are burned. In contrast, non-combustion energy sources—wind, sunlight, hydropower, and nuclear—do not convert hydrocarbons to CO2. CO2 is a heat-trapping "greenhouse" gas which represents a negative externality on the climate system (see scientific opinion on global warming). Since GHG emissions caused by the combustion of fossil fuels are closely related to the carbon content of the respective fuels, a tax on these emissions can be levied by taxing the carbon content of fossil fuels at any point in the product cycle of the fuel. Carbon taxes offer a potentially cost-effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. From an economic perspective, carbon taxes are a type of Pigovian tax. They help to address the problem of emitters of greenhouse gases not facing the full social cost of their actions. Carbon taxes can be a regressive tax, in that they may directly or indirectly affect low-income groups disproportionately. The regressive impact of carbon taxes could be addressed by using tax revenues to favour low-income groups. 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 (see footnotes). Many large users of carbon resources in electricity generation, such as the United States, Russia, and China, are resisting carbon taxation.

Source: Wikipedia - Carbon tax