Johannesburg - Business Unity SA urged the National Treasury on Monday to delay the introduction of the proposed carbon tax.
“While Busa recognises the carbon tax as one of the measures that will eventually be needed to reduce South Africa's carbon emissions, the tax should not be introduced in isolation from other measures,” Busa said in a statement.
“It needs to be linked to a range of other mitigation measures still being developed by the department of environmental affairs and the department of energy respectively.”
Busa made a 58-page submission to Treasury last week on the recent Carbon Tax Policy Consultative Paper.
In his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the introduction of a carbon tax to mitigate the effects of climate change.
In May, the Treasury introduced, for public comment, the carbon tax policy paper, titled “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating the transition to a green economy”.
Busa wanted the Treasury to delay the introduction of the tax beyond 2015, it said.
The imposition of a carbon tax on the electricity sector would have a significant impact on electricity costs without necessarily reducing emissions from the sector, it said.
This was at a time when the economy would remain vulnerable to cost-push pressures.
“There is a lack of clarity on elements of the carbon tax design, which inhibits a meaningful impact assessment being made,” Busa said.
“Busa believes that a separate comprehensive regulatory impact assessment report be compiled, which can then be considered in conjunction with a World Bank study into the socio-economic impact of carbon tax expected next year.”
A carbon tax should not be imposed in isolation of global negotiations, it said. - Sapa