A groundbreaking Canadian scheme that rewards green living holds lessons for world leaders wrangling over carbon emissions at the UN summit in Poland.
Two decades ago, Canada’s westernmost province was in the midst of environmental and economic calamity. A small beetle was devouring large swathes of the region’s valuable pine forests, leaving millions of trees dead as infestation spread. The government waited anxiously for cold winters – which would kill the beetles – but year after year the cold never came.
By 2008 the decimation of the forests, along with a series of intense storms walloping the province, prompted British Columbia to take action on climate change. The provincial government introduced a carbon tax, putting a price on fossil fuel emissions. And, crucially, all the money raised was returned to the people in tax cuts.
SOURCE: The Guardian. “How to make a carbon tax popular? Give the proceeds to the people.” The Guardian, 5 December 2018.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia