South Africa’s Ramaphosa Signs Carbon Tax into Law
In a first for a developing country, the coal-heavy economy will put a price on pollution, but campaigners say it is not high enough.
Ramaphosa’s African National Congress party was returned to office with a reduced majority in an election earlier this month. While climate change was barely mentioned in the campaign, the result allows the government to finally implement a tax that has been under discussion since 2010.
“Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges facing human kind, and the primary objective of the carbon tax is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a sustainable, cost effective and affordable manner,” the treasury said in a statement.
The tax is to start at 120 rand a tonne of CO2 ($8). In the first phase, polluters will get 60-95% of carbon allowances free, bringing the effective tax rate down to R6-48/t. These rates are to be reviewed before phase two, spanning 2023-30.
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