Carbon Tax introduction under protest in Malawi

By Angella Semu

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-In reaction to government’s decision to introduce of a new revenue collection mechanism, the Carbon Tax which falls within the category of pollution levies Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) has asked government to reconsider the idea before it is put to task.

The idea which is being implemented in several parts of the world is done for two main reasons; disincentivize emissions and raise funds to address climate impacts at global and national levels.

CEPA has however noted that the new tax regime in Malawi raises some questions since it does not clearly address these usual intentions of pollution levies across the world.

One of the arguments the environmental body has raised is government has not put in place structures that can
create alternative and more sustainable modes of transport to replace motor vehicles which in case of Malawi are some of the carbon emitting technologies.

The other concern that has been raised is absence of clear mechanisms to ensure that the resources mobilised in this process do not go untraced as Malawi Revenue Authority has explicitly stated that the revenues will be collected into
Government Consolidated Account No.1 and not National Climate Change Fund which would be in a better position to facilitate the intended
use of pollution tax.

CEPA therefore urged government to therefore ensure that implementation of regime is preceded by clarity of intended use of the revenues; definition of mechanisms that will ensure that the tax is being channeled to the right institutions and can be monitored adequately.

Government has also been asked to put in place alternative energy sources such as introduction of generators to reduce the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation that releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases consequently contribute largely towards environmental pollution.

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