RP to propose global carbon tax
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will propose a global consumption tax on fossil fuels to establish a fund that will aid nations stricken with calamities due to global warming, and to encourage the use of renewable energy sources, a chief economic adviser of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said.
The proposal will be formalized by the Philippine delegation to the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland, in December, said Albay Governor Joey Salceda said.
Salceda spoke on the best practices that his province was doing to stem the effects of climate change and global warming during the first Carbon-Cutting Congress in Malacañang.
Salceda said the global carbon tax, in principle, works like a sin tax, since greenhouse gas emissions are bad for the environment. But since the effects of global warming are felt worldwide, he said the tax should also be global.
“World countries that consume large amounts of fossil fuel should pay carbon added tax, value added tax, so that a fund can be set up for climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” Salceda told reporters on the sidelines of the summit at the Palace.
“Kasi sila sumisira [They are the ones doing the damage],” Salceda said, referring to countries that consume fossil fuels heavily, adding, “Typhoons are affected by climate, climate is affected by GHG [greenhouse gases], GHGs are a result of fossil fuels.”
Asked who exactly would pay the proposed tax, Salceda said: “Those who use fossil fuels, so they can use biofuels and renewables.”
Salceda said the tax rate would he subject to discussion. He said the United Nations could handle the climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction fund, subject to an international agreement, protocol or treaty.
Salceda cited the example of the Philippines, which produces 148 million metric tons of greenhouse gas, but 128 metric tons of which are offset by the country’s forests.
The United States, he said, accounts for 80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
An expert, however, doubted the viability of imposing such a levy.
“It makes great sense but politically it’s not easy to implement. I’m not sure how easy it is for it to happen, but if we can just wave a magic wand and make it happen it would probably be very good thing for the environment,” John Topping Jr., chief executive officer of the Climate Institute, told reporters in a separate interview.
Topping said the Philippines could cope with climate change by harnessing its potential in geothermal and hydroelectric power generation.
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