In the early Nineties, the United Nations created the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty, the objective of which is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to combat the dangerous effects of global warming. One of the chief methods that has been implemented around the world is the introduction of carbon taxes in countries around the world. The carbon tax aims to encourage businesses to practice more carbon-efficient methods — for example, by reducing coal emissions or monitoring power in the data centre. In this article, we’ll look at some of the countries that have implemented — or are planning to implement — the carbon tax, continent by continent.
South Africa: A carbon tax was introduced in 2010 in South Africa which saw motor vehicles taxed. The initial implementation of the tax targets passenger vehicles, but eventually commercial vehicles will be taxed as well.
China: The Chinese Government has suggested that a carbon tax be brought in from either 2012 or 2013. It will be based on carbon dioxide output from hydrocarbon fuel sources.
India: A carbon tax has been introduced for the production and importation of coal at a rate of 50 rupees per metric tonne.
South Korea: The Korean Government has currently set a target of reducing emissions by four per cent, and has created a fund for green research that is contributed to by both government and private enterprise. Plans for a carbon trading scheme are currently in the works and should begin in 2012.
Taiwan: Taiwan initially planned to adopt a carbon tax in 2011, but it met opposition from the public. It is still under consideration.
Australia: The Clean Energy Bill was proposed by the Australian Government in February 2011, and was passed by the Upper House in November of that year. As a result, a carbon tax is set to be introduced in Australia from July 2012. Manufacturing and mining industries have strongly opposed the tax, while many data centre services have emerged to help lower the energy output of the data centre.
New Zealand: NZ has an uncapped emissions trading scheme that was first legislated in 2008. It covers all sectors, though entry dates vary for individual sectors.
Denmark: The Danish government introduced a carbon dioxide tax in 1992, but it also offers a tax refund for energy efficient changes.
Finland: The Finnish were the first to introduce a carbon dioxide tax, thought it has undergone many changes since its initial introduction.
France: First detailed in 2009, France’s carbon tax officially came into effect at the start of 2010.
Ireland: While the first proposal of a carbon tax in Ireland was in 2004, it wasn’t until 2010 that the carbon tax was finally introduced.
Netherlands: The Dutch government first introduced a carbon tax in 1990, but it was replaced with the Environmental Tax on Fuels, a 50/50 carbon/energy tax, in 1992.
Norway: In Norway, a carbon dioxide tax on hydrocarbon fuels was brought in to being in 1991.
Sweden: Like other Scandinavian countries, Sweden were early adopters of the carbon tax, with theirs beginning in 1991.
Switzerland: The Swiss government enacted a carbon tax in 2008 for all hydrocarbon fuels, provided they aren’t used for energy.
United Kingdom: The UK’s only real carbon tax was introduced in 1993, known as the Fuel Density Escalator (FDE) — an environmental tax on retail petrol. Any increases were cancelled in 2000, though the FDE is still reflected in fuel prices today.
Costa Rica: The Costa Rican government implemented a carbon tax in 1997, with some of the funds going towards a program that incentivises sustainable practices in development and forest conservation.
United States: While there is no nationwide carbon tax in the USA, certain states, including Colorado, California and Maryland, have introduced carbon taxation measures.
Canada: Like the US, there is no nationwide tax, but certain provinces, including Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, have their own versions of carbon taxation.