VICTORIA, British Columbia - Finance Minister Carole Taylor reported that the British Columbia government is looking at a new carbon tax to combat climate change. This tax may be included for consideration in the next provincial budget.

If implemented, the tax could start with a per-liter levy on gasoline or a tax when the fuels are extracted or imported.

The government is also considering more tax incentives to choose a greener lifestyle and burn less energy.

A carbon tax is aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels such as gasoline, aviation fuel, and natural gas. Carbon taxes started in Scandinavia in the 1990s and were recently implemented by the province of Quebec.

A group of 70 professors from four British Columbia universities sent a letter to Taylor recommending a revenue neutral carbon tax instead of a cap on emissions. According to the professors, this would be more effective in reducing emissions and better for both consumers and businesses. Taylor agreed with the professors’ position that a carbon tax should be revenue neutral, indicating that “tax-shifting” would be her preferred approach. A decision will be made by the end of the year.

Publication date:12/17/2007