SA cabinet approves draft carbon tax plan


    South Africa has approved a draft carbon tax policy as it tries to curb harmful emissions from the continent’s top polluter, a minister said on Thursday.
    Power utility Eskom and petrochemicals group Sasol, the world’s largest maker of fuel from coal, last year topped a list of the country’s worst polluters, collectively spewing out some 290-million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
    Eskom, which uses mostly coal-fired power stations to supply the bulk of power in South Africa and is one of the world’s top single polluters, alone accounted for 220-million tons.
    “The tax policy represents the environmental and economic rationale for carbon tax measures to address climate change,” Collins Chabane, monitoring and evaluation minister in the presidency, told journalists.
    The proposed tax, which will be released for public comment soon, seeks to influence consumer and producer behaviour through a pricing mechanism.
    Three carbon emissions tax options are being considered by government – a direct tax on actual measured emissions, a fossil fuel input tax based on carbon content and an output tax that could be applied to emitters where fuel is burnt.