Chamber Square, Lion Match Office Park, 892 Umgeni Road, Durban

DCCI comments on National Treasury’s Carbon Offsets Proposal

Big Business is well aware of the far-reaching consequences if the looming carbon tax regime. Following extensive consultation on the tax and its impending implementation, Business welcomed National Treasury’s 2014 Carbon Offset Paper, as the carbon offsets provide an avenue for large carbon emitters to reduce their carbon liability.

One would assume that a proposed policy to reduce a firm’s tax liability would be welcomed by the private sector, however, this was not necessarily the case, with objections originating from numerous quarters. In the private sector, the prime objection appeared to be the qualifying criteria for a project to considered a ‘genuine’ offset project. The Chamber, in its submission, outlined our support for Treasury’s proposed project eligibility criteria, mainly to guard against the double-counting of emissions and the over-inflation of the potential quantities of carbon emissions to be offset.

Contrary to the comments of other business organisations, in its submission, the Chamber posits that the anticipated demand for carbon offsets will spurn an entire network of emission verifiers. The Chamber believes that the carbon verification industry is primed for small business as it will allow them opportunities to expand their operations into the sector or develop entirely separate, new business ventures.

The Chamber in its submission, is however, cautious of the proposed institutional arrangements required to implement a domestic carbon offset scheme. A key concern of the Chamber is the development and maintenance of a domestic carbon registry, and the form this registry would take.

The Chamber’s full submission is attached.

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