Delivered by Deputy President of The Congress Of People – Willy Madisha
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON CARBON TAX BILL AND FIRST READING DEBATE: CARBON TAX BILL AND SECOND READING: CARBON TAX BILL
Speaker, the Congress of the People agrees that climate change currently poses the greatest threat facing humankind.
By all accounts, Speaker, South Africa will worryingly warm at twice the global average.
Already, the effects of climate change are to be felt here at home.
We agree that South Africa must play its role in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In this regard we note that we have in terms of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change undertaken to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by close to half within the next 6 years.
This, Speaker, is an onerous commitment.
And as, COPE, we question whether the commitment made will be realised given the provisions of this Bill in its final form.
Speaker, greenhouse gas emissions and the resultant global warming harm the world and South Africa socially and environmentally.
The impact and consequences of global warming are more pronounced on the poor and vulnerable, than on the rich and resourced.
Speaker, carbon taxation is essentially a fiscal tool that puts a price on greenhouse emissions made through the production of good and services.
The tax (its rates, rebates and exemptions) aim to change behaviour and reduce emissions.
The conundrum we face as a nation is the need to meet our reduction in emissions commitment, in times when we need to create conditions conducive to meaningful economic growth and job creation – this, following a decade of ‘econo-cide’ induced by the governing party.
This, Speaker, is not an ideal situation and requires a fine balance (a trade-off) between the need for growth and environmental sustainability.
Speaker, time will tell whether the proposed phased-in-kids-glove approach is the right posture to adopt.
Apart here from, COPE would have liked to have seen the ring-fencing of carbon tax revenue for use or investment in greener energy production technologies and industries that will reduce Greenhouse emissions and improve energy supply.
Delivered by : Willy Madisha
Deputy President of The Congress of The People (COPE)
Parliament of South Africa
Media Liaison Officer (Parliament) 061 267 3301
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