Lawmakers Propose Carbon Tax to Raise Funds for Climate Action Initiatives in the Philippines
Lawmakers from Camarines Sur proposed a bill to add a carbon tax on electricity (CTE) use to raise funds for climate action initiatives and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG).
Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte stated that the imposition of the CTE can help the Philippines in meeting its decarbonization target and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in 2030.
Villafuerte’s proposal, House Bill (HB) 4939, aims to add a CTE use equivalent to ₱1 for every kilogram (kg) of CO2 emission per kilowatt hour (kWh). The earned revenues will then be used for climate-change mitigation and adaptation programs.
Villafuerte stated, “Abrupt climate change is not only imminent; it is here. It is consequently necessary for us to make a significant contribution to the global effort to stabilize GHG concentrations in the atmosphere.”
Villafuerte added, “The swift congressional approval of HB No.4739 will send a strong message to the global community of our country’s steadfast commitment to international climate action policy and the 19th Congress’ affirmation of the people’s right to a balanced and healthy ecology as well as the State’s paramount duty to safeguard such right for the present and future generations.”
Meanwhile, there are exemptions to the HB. Households that consume 60 kWh or below per month and those using renewable energy (RE) sources are free from the CTE imposed by HB 4939. Additionally, the bill requires homes that harness RE to get an official certification from the Department of Energy (DOE) confirming that they use RE, not electricity from the grid.
According to the HB, carbon released from electricity and heat production nearly doubled from 25.83% in 1972 to 49.74% as of 2013. Earnings from the proposed climate tax will be used for programs that explore and promote the use of alternative energy and aid communities in disaster risk and management.