The following is one post in a series: “Reporting Back: Green Party of Canada Policy Conference, Halifax“
Amy Taylor from the Pembina Institute presented on the details of how Environmental Tax Shifting should be implemented. The goal is to internalize costs, and can be accomplished in a number of ways, including regulation, trade permits, and environmental pricing, which includes subsidy removal, taxes, charges and user fees.
There are three kinds of ETS:
- Broad. For example, a shift from income tax to consumption tax.
- Sector Specific. This shift occurs within one industry, so that taxes are reinvested to make that industry more efficient and environmentally responsible.
- Individual reform. For example, deposits on beer bottles.
The good news is, other countries have already tested this stuff out and shown that it works, so we don’t have to jump before we look. (Come to think of it, that’s also bad news, because it means we’re already behind.) For example, Germany increased a fossil fuels tax while decreasing employment insurance charges. Sweden gives efficiency rebates to those who purchase more energy efficient vehicles.
Taylor concluded with two lists. First, things we should conceder taxing (or taxing more): water consumption, municipal waste, green house gas emissions, motor vehicle pollution, deforestation. Second, taxes we could reduce: income, capital, property, payroll charges, sales taxes.