Carbon Taxation as a Tool for Sustainable Development in Africa: Evaluation of Potentials, Paradoxes and Prospects

13 Pages Posted: 21 May 2016

See all articles by Alexander Ezenagu

Alexander Ezenagu

McGill University, Faculty of Law, Students

Date Written: March 15, 2016

Abstract

Calls for the introduction of a carbon tax into the tax lexicon in African countries may not have come any sooner. South Africa for example has developed a robust proposal aimed at introducing a carbon tax system by 2016. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from key sectors such as mining, transportation and agriculture and to achieve sustainable development. Following South Africa’s perceived progress in its carbon taxation efforts, there have also been increased calls for Nigeria and other African countries to reform extant taxation laws to introduce a carbon tax system for key polluters in the extractive sector.

This paper evaluates the utility, desirability and potentials of achieving sustainable development in Africa through carbon taxation. Following a discussion of the motivations for considering a carbon tax system, we evaluate potential impacts of a carbon tax system on African economies, particularly on poor and vulnerable communities who despite contributing less to GHG emissions may bear disproportionate burden of combating it. We then evaluate the potential legal and logistical barriers that a carbon taxation system might face and propose legal frameworks for addressing these barriers.

Keywords: Carbon Tax, Sustainable Development, Sub-Sahara Africa

Suggested Citation

Ezenagu, Alexander, Carbon Taxation as a Tool for Sustainable Development in Africa: Evaluation of Potentials, Paradoxes and Prospects (March 15, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2748040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2748040

Alexander Ezenagu (Contact Author)

McGill University, Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Montréal, Quebec
Canada

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