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South Africa,Treasury publishes second carbon tax draft bill

South Africa,Treasury publishes second carbon tax draft bill

CAPE TOWN: National Treasury has published the second draft of the carbon tax bill for it to be introduced in Parliament and for public comment.

“Following that process, a revised bill will be formally tabled in Parliament, which is expected to be by mid-2018,” said Treasury on Thursday. The publication of the bill follows the announcement made in the 2017 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, which gives effect to the announcement made in the 2017 Budget in Februar.

The first draft carbon tax bill was published for public comment in November 2015. The bill will enable South Africa to meet its nationally determined contribution (NDC) commitments in terms of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, and to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with the National Climate Change Response Policy and national development plan.

Cabinet approved the submission of the draft bill to Parliament on 16 August 2017 and noted carbon tax as an integral part of the system for implementing government policy on climate change. South Africa ratified the Paris agreement in November 2016 and endorsed its NDC, which requires that its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions peak in 2020 to 2025, plateau for a ten-year period from 2025 to 2035 and decline from 2036 onwards.

“The Paris Agreement comes into operation in 2020, which means that efforts to reduce our GHG emissions and meet our commitments cannot be further delayed. The NDC noted that carbon tax is an important part of the package of measures to reduce emissions, complemented by appropriate regulations and incentives,” said Treasury,

Meanwhile, Treasury said the actual date of implementation of the carbon tax will be determined through a separate and later process. Minister Gigaba is expected to make an announcement next year or at the 2019 Budget, taking into account the state of the economy.