British Columbia’s Carbon Tax and its Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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In June of 2008, British Columbia became the first and only Canadian province to introduce a carbon tax, and has been praised and scone by environmentalists, economists, and politicians alike, arguing whether the tax is efficient or destructive method of controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The liberal premier Gordon Campbell introduced the carbon tax; its main purpose would be to enforce a carbon tax to increase the price of consumption of fossil fuels within the province, the philosophy behind the tax was to make taxes higher on the deemed environmentally detrimental purchases and lessen the tax on the others. The carbon tax promised to achieve this in a carbon neutral way, which meant that the revenue received from the tax would be…show more content…
Stewart Elgie, a University of Ottawa law and economics professor and chair of the green economy think-tank Sustainable Prosperity suggests that British Columbia’s per-capita fuel usage had fallen more than 4 per cent compared with the rest of Canada and its economy (Ebner, McCarthy, 2011) Evidently it is reducing the amount of green house gasses emitted by fossil fuel use. However this is not the concern many had with the introduction of the tax, but the concerns were focused upon the externalities caused by this and the effects it would have on the economy. Three years since the carbon tax introduction and the Provincial level of GDP has remained approximately the same, (Greenery in Canada: We have a winner) With the provincial level of GDP remaining around the same, this suggests that at the very worst the carbon tax has had no negative effects to the provincial economy. Furthermore the tax also promised to remain carbon neutral and promised to cut corporate and private income tax. British Columbia has become the province with the lowest income tax regime and the lowest corporate tax regime (Greenery in Canada: We have a winner). Although the carbon tax is being praised by many, it still faces concerns as many still argue the ineffectiveness of the tax and what that means for the province.
One major objection many economists have to the question of carbon tax effectiveness is whether the taxes on carbon are high enough to create any change in
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