Today in Cleantech

Brad Plumer of The Washington Post reports on data from the carbon tax that’s been in place since 2008 in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The tax began at $10 per ton of carbon, increasing $5 a year. This translates into about 8-cents a gallon of gasoline, rising each her. A follow up analysis from the University of Ottawa’s Sustainable Prosperity group finds that per capita GHG emissions from those subject to the tax dropped 9.9 percent versus 4.6 percent for the rest of Canada, and per capita consumption of petroleum products dropped a whopping 15.1 percent versus a 1.3 percent rise for the rest of the country. But the real kicker is that the economy in the British Columbia actually grew at a faster rate than the rest of Canada (1.78 percent versus 1.64 percent). It gets hard to argue that the tax had a negative impact on the economy, though it’s possible that BC might have had even more robust economic growth, absent the tax. But given that BC used the tax to lower both its local corporate income tax and the tax rate of the bottom two income brackets, there’s reason to do more fine grained analysis to see if the tax actually helped the economy.

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Adam Lesser

Analyst Gigaom Research

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