Campaigners and industry criticise South Africa’s new carbon tax

(Climate Change News, 17 Jul 2019) While industrial players see it as a threat to jobs, the first tax of its kind in Africa is too weak for climate advocates.

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South Africa’s new carbon tax has provoked a storm of criticism from environmental campaigners who say it is too weak – and from industry that predicts it will cause mass job losses.

The new tax, the first of its type in Africa, was cautiously introduced last month in the first of several gradual steps and is scheduled to come into full force in three years’ time.

The tax has been planned for almost a decade. But it was delayed in a country that is struggling to boost economic growth while also being the 14th largest polluter in the world, according to Greenpeace.

Canada, France, Colombia and Sweden all have carbon taxes, with the World Bank saying a total of 46 countries now have such levies or similar schemes in place or scheduled for implementation.

The tax puts a price on releasing greenhouse gases from fuel combustion and industrial processes as countries work to meet the global climate change targets negotiated in Paris in 2015.

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Climate Change News, 17 Jul 2019: Campaigners and industry criticise South Africa’s new carbon tax