'Green Tax Shifting ' Reduces Emissions Without Increasing Taxes, Claims Green Party

By Contributor
April 21st, 2009

Victoria, BC –– The Green Party of BC is calling on British Columbians to support an increased tax shift on green house gas emissions from $10/tonne to $50/tonne. 

The $10/tonne (now $15) shift by the BC Liberals is a start, but BC Greens would shift more sooner — starting with $50/tonne,” said Jane Sterk, Leader of the Green Party of BC.

We have barely scratched the surface in our shift off oil.–Jane Sterk

 “Since revenues from the tax will be used to reduce payroll and income taxes, most British Columbians who have choosen alternates to burning hydrocarbons have already increased their overall revenues. Along with the GST rebate and lowered personal taxes, some low income, northern and rural dwellers have also seen reduced expenses.”
“To reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions contributing to climate change, we need to price the cost of pollution into the economy. Economists and scientists agree that putting a price on carbon is essential to combating climate change. In the European Union, countries using a green tax shift have shown that it can help achieve emissions reductions with economic success while protecting low-income citizens from paying the tax. In Europe, tax shifting has contributed to technical innovation, making many countries leaders in renewable energy production and export with economic benefit to individuals and businesses as well as creating new green-collar jobs. British Columbians and industries now have the option to reduce their taxes by switching to less carbon-intensive fuels, reducing driving and by taking measures to increase energy efficiency in other areas.
The Green Party policy would shift oil and gas subsidies immediately toward renewable energy projects, green building programs, energy conservation, and green-collar education and job training. Initially money would be directed toward programs in rural and northern communities where fewer options for alternate transportation and energy generation exist. In this way, the bulk of the population will help those at a disadvantage and share our collective responsibility for getting off oil and gas.

“We have barely scratched the surface in our shift off oil. We need to remove subsidies to oil and gas industry and shift them to clean and green, renewable sources of energy, transit and, in the process, create challenging green collar jobs. We need to examine the ways we subsidize car use and provide incentives for biking, walking and re-designing our communities so people live close to where they work. 

The Green Party first talked about tax shifting over 20 years ago. It’s gratifying to see our ideas finally being accepted, but there is much more to do,” concludes Sterk.


–submitted. Note: The Rossland Telegraph will provide equal space for voices from any recognized political party.

Categories: Politics

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