"We should tax what we burn, not what we earn. This is the single most important policy change we can make."
- Al Gore, Former US Vice President and 2008 Nobel Laureate
Given the debate over British Columbia's carbon tax, we're highlighting the opinions of some of the world's top leaders on climate change solutions and their thoughts on carbon tax policy. And who better to look to than the Nobel prize-winning former US Vice-President Al Gore.
Gore has long been an outspoken champion of the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax that shifts the tax burden away from things like income and small business tax and puts it on the consumption of fuels that emit heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
In a speech Gore gave last summer at the Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, he explained that:
"Of course, we could and should speed up this transition by insisting that the price of carbon-based energy include the costs of the environmental damage it causes. I have long supported a sharp reduction in payroll taxes with the difference made up in CO2 taxes. We should tax what we burn, not what we earn. This is the single most important policy change we can make." (my emphasis)
As John Lauhmer at Treehugger explains Gore's carbon tax position:
"As a not-running-for President guy, Al's in a position to be logical about the best public policy to drive climate action: a carbon tax . No Democratic candidate can come out for a carbon tax because he or she would be attacked for being a 'tax and spend liberal.' And no Republican candidate can come out of the carbon tax closet because...you know...tax cuts."