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A new model law launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat aims to help countries implement a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

The Commonwealth Carbon Tax Model Law, presented at a high-level event in Dubai during COP28, provides a framework for an easily administrable carbon tax. Under the model law, the tax would be levied on fossil fuel companies and major industrial emitters, following the ‘polluter pays’ principle. This approach is designed to ensure that the majority of emissions in the Commonwealth countries are taxed.

By taxing major sources of carbon pollution, the law will encourage the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The revenue generated can be invested in climate action, offset impacts on vulnerable groups, and support economic diversification. The model law offers the Commonwealth countries a starting point to draft new legislation or adapt existing statutes.

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