Japan has a carbon tax too

This was kind of a surprise for me when I learned that not only does Japan has a carbon tax, but that is has one since… October 2012. The world’s third largest economy is taxing emissions from power plants and vehicles alike. 

Even if the tax was quite risible – a mere 289 yen (3.7 USD or three euros) per ton of carbon emissions at the beginning as Bloomberg reported, this is quite an achievement. The organization Japan for Sustainability explained that :

The tax rate will be incrementally increased up to 289 yen (US$3.7) per ton of emitted CO2 in three stages for three and a half years; the initial rate will be one-third of the 289 yen. Each household will eventually bear an average cost of about 100 yen (US$1.3) per month by fiscal year 2016 .

The money gathered will be spent in increasing energy efficiency, developping the batteries of the future as well as renewables.

More and more countries have been enacting carbon taxes or similar mechanisms to curb their greenhouse gases emissions. An interesting document from the World Bank shows that no less than 15 countries or regions of the world are taxing carbon.

Among them are :

  • France ( as the World Bank notes : ” A carbon tax was introduced from April 1, 2014 on the use of gas, heavy fuel oil, and coal, increasing to €14.5/tCO2 in 2015 and €22/tCO2 in 2016. From 2015 onwards the carbon tax will be extended to transport fuels and heating oil.” )
  • Switzerland
  • the United Kingdom
  • Mexico ( the document explains ” Mexico’s carbon tax covers fossil fuel sales and imports by manufacturers, producers, and importers. It is not a tax on the full carbon content of fuels, but rather on the additional amount of emissions that would be generated if the fossil fuel were used instead of natural gas. “)

2015 will be a major year for carbon taxes as both China and South Africa will start such taxations.

The more I document myself on the matter, the more I believe a global carbon tax will be enacted by 2020. Which country will be next ?

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