In a bid to drive down emissions and spur the transition to clean energy in South Africa, the country has joined a list of about 40 countries worldwide to adopt a carbon-pricing program. The first phase of the carbon tax will run until December 2022 and will go into effect next. Under the carbon-price program, polluters will be taxed about $8.34 per ton of CO2 that they emit.
Once the first phase is over, the treasury will assess the impact of the tax and the country’s progress toward emissions goals before enacting the second phase of the policy, which will start in 2023 and end in 2030.
Unsurprisingly, companies are against the carbon tax, but economists have argued that taxing carbon will result in a shift towards cleaner sources of energy. South Africa’s carbon tax is not nearly as strict as Britain’s, which prices CO2 at nearly $25 a ton of CO2 and has helped drive greenhouse gas emissions in Britain to their lowest level since 1890. Still, at the very least, South Africa’s carbon tax is a step in the right direction for the rainbow nation.