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Carbon taxation 'could promote greener businesses'

The introduction of increased taxes on the production of carbon for businesses across the UK, including those in the construction and supply chain sectors, could promote a much greener future for the country, it has been argued.

Dr Chris Hope, advisor on the PAGE model to the Stern review on the economics of climate change, told listeners to the Cambridge Judge Business School podcast that by charging businesses for the emissions they create, they will be encouraged to focus their efforts on greener forms of energy.

Anybody who emits greenhouse gases - most notably carbon dioxide (CO2) - should be charged a carbon tax, as this would make the uptake of greener methods of energy production more attractive.

He commented: "What we need to do is make sure that when businesses are looking for value for money in their energy supply and energy use, the kinds of energy that it ends up using are clean and green.

"The way to do that is by making sure that anything which is dirty has a tax on it to recognise the pollution."

Dr Hope added that the implementation of a tax of around £60 per tonne of CO2 produced would result in an income increase for the Treasury of close to £50 billion - the equivalent of ten per cent of its present annual revenue.

His comments follow those of Peter Richardson, director at energy and environment management outsourcing and support provider Secos, who recently argued that the rise in popularity of green improvements for UK businesses has brought considerable benefits for firms.

Mr Richardson noted the employment of new green technologies and the installation of energy-saving items such as thicker insulation have resulted in companies seeing lower operating costs, more efficient use of resources and the potential for enhanced reputation among their customers. 

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