51% of consumers support a carbon tax on damaging products

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Courtesy of Vital Efficienci Ltd.

New survey reveals that 51% of the consumers agreed that products that cause harm the environment should carry an additional carbon tax.

51% of consumers support a carbon tax on damaging products

New survey reveals that 51% of the consumers agreed that products that cause harm the environment should carry an additional carbon tax.

A recent survey done to 2,000 people indicates that a carbon tax on environmentally damaging products could have popular support, after 51% of the consumers agreed that products that cause particular harm to the environment, either directly or through carbon emissions associated with long-distance transport, should carry an additional green tax.

The public backing for a carbon tax could represent good news for the coalition government, which has promised to increase the percentage of carbon taxes raised by the Treasury, but has yet to specify in a proposal how this might be achieved
A Treasury spokesman has admitted the government would consider a carbon tax on environmentally damaging goods, but he said that a great deal of research would need to be done before it could be implemented, apart from the requirement of calculating how damaging a product was.

81% of people would be more likely to buy local goods if product labels showed air miles or country of origin

The government could look to increase the cost of carbon intensive products by either introducing a carbon tax on air and road transport or developing an entirely new regime, where a carbon tax is imposed on products at the point they are sold based on their environmental footprint. However, it should be considered that while the public may be in favour of additional carbon taxes as an abstract idea, they are less likely to be supportive when money is coming out of their pockets.

In addition, introducing a polluter-pays policy on damaging products could prove a regressive tax, hitting the poorest hardest, and it would be of little use in addressing the UK's vast deficit because successful carbon taxes prevent people from undertaking polluting activities and therefore produce less revenue the more successful they become.

The survey also revealed that 81% of people would be more likely to buy local goods if product labels showed air miles or country of origin, while almost half said they preferred to purchase food from companies with a good environmental reputation. While, around 30% agreed they were more likely to buy from shops or businesses with good environmental reputations, although almost 40% said they did not have a preference.

Considering that so many respondents ignored the economic slowdown and put environmental concerns ahead of price, business should start taking note of changing consumer demands

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