Press release

IISD review finds B.C. carbon tax effective and efficient: recommends province stay the course

August 30, 2012

WINNIPEG—August 31, 2012— British Columbia's carbon tax is an effective and efficient policy that has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting low-carbon development, though challenges to its continued success are emerging, according to a review completed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

In a submission to the B.C. Carbon Tax Review, IISD has tested the carbon tax against five principles it previously designed to test the effectiveness of the Government of Canada's regulatory approach to greenhouse gas mitigation and found the B.C. policy "performs quite well."

"British Columbia's carbon tax and associated revenue recycling is a world-leading model for carbon policy design," says the report, authored by IISD climate change and energy's project manager Philip Gass and vice-president David Sawyer.

However, "British Columbia will face significant challenges to its greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in coming years, with economic growth, a lack of U.S. mitigation policy, natural gas expansion, regulatory constraints and an unresolved position on emissions trading all having the potential to influence both policy and emissions."

IISD suggests B.C. maintain its current policy structure and tax rate given the certainty and benefits it provides, while giving careful consideration to policy drivers that are expected to have significant influence on B.C.'s future climate change strategy.


For more information please contact Philip Gass or +1 (204) 958-7754, David Sawyer or Nona Pelletier, IISD manager, public affairs at +1 (204) 958-7740, mobile: +1 (204) 962-1303, or email 

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.