SA’s carbon emissions are disproportionately high. There are various causes for this, the primary one being the country’s reliance on coal in energy generation. To minimise emissions, SA has made several international and national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The carbon tax, through the 2018 Carbon Tax Bill, will introduce the “polluter-pays principle”, which principle incorporates the costs of damage caused by GHG into the price of high carbon-emitting goods and services. It should change consumer behaviour and encourage investors to shift towards low-carbon options. The law, announced in the 2019 budget speech, comes into effect on June 1 2019. It will operate in two phases: the first from June 1 2019 to December 31 2022; the second from 2023 to 2030. Companies, individuals and public entities will be liable to pay the carbon tax if conducting an activity that results in the emission of GHGs above the prescribed emission thresholds. The GHGs covered includ...

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