New Brunswick’s finance minister said he is “open” to the idea of bringing in a carbon tax to help the Canadian province cut its budget deficit, Canada’s state broadcaster reported on Wednesday.
Liberal Roger Melanson said he’s willing to consider imposing a levy on the province’s biggest emitters, a proposal tabled most recently by New Brunswick Green Party leader David Coon.
“We need to get expenditures under control, but we also said on the revenue side, we’re open to looking at different options for revenues … We’re not saying we’re going to bring in a carbon tax, but we’re saying everything’s on the table,” Melanson said, according to the CBC.
Melanson gave no further indication as to when he would introduce the province’s next budget or whether it could contain any new taxes, carbon or otherwise.
New Brunswick has pledged to cut its emissions by 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, to around 14.5 million tonnes of CO2e, but local media reported earlier this month that under a BAU scenario, the province is on track to grow its emissions by 10% during that period.
New Brunswick previously considered taxing carbon in 2008, but despite estimates that an additional $100 million in revenue could be raised, the idea was scrapped.
The ruling Liberal government in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick’s neighbour, is also considering introducing a carbon tax for similar reasons, but efforts face headwinds from the political opposition.
By Mike Szabo – email@example.com