OTTAWA — A Carbon tax added to drivers’ and truckers’ fuel bills would hardly influence consumption, according to the Pembina Institute.
The firm is a left-leaning think tank, but even it had to conclude that there’s little evidence increasing the price of already-costly fuel would alter consumers’ transportation habits, rendering carbon-based taxes ineffective in cutting emissions significantly.
Statistical evidence shows that demand for fossil fuels hasn’t calmed as the price for fuel has skyrocketed over the last couple years.
Gas costs between $1.25 and $1.30 a liter nationwide, while diesel averages $1.38 right now.
« It’s important to say from the outset that I don’t think anyone believes a carbon tax is going to be the main way that we reduce emissions from transportation, » the institute’s Matthew Bramley told Canadian Press. He added that about half of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from large industry, not road transportation.
However, the study showed that businesses are more likely to change energy-consumption habits because decisions are made on « hard numbers » and cost increases can lead toward « cleaner energy choices. »
Carbon taxes are currently being considered by governments across Canada.
B.C. has already passed legislation introducing such levies, and there’s an internal debate among federal Liberals about making carbon taxes part of their next election platform.
— for more on how B.C.’s incoming carbon taxes would affect truckers, be sure to read our online weekly feature Carbon Crunch at todaystrucking.com.
— with files from Canadian Press
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