Carbon Tax: What’s the point

Cape Times
14 Apr 2015
David Lipschitz
Energy Portfolio Head of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance

THE Davis Committee investigating if South Africa should have a carbon tax has just asked for comments.

There is not much content to comment on yet, but I firmly believe, until there are alternatives where consumers can choose their supplier, a carbon tax is unfair. We have to buy Eskom’s choice of coal energy. If we buy coal energy, we pay a carbon tax.

Until we can choose to buy wind or solar energy, there is hardly any point in a carbon tax. A carbon tax is effectively a “sin tax”; in my opinion, a sin tax where the “sinner” is the government.

Until the Energy White Paper of 1998 and the Renewable Energy White Paper of 2003 are fully implemented and until there is an Independent System Market Operator and until there is retail wheeling, where energy buyers and sellers can trade with each other, I believe a carbon tax is premature.

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