Toyota New Zealand: carbon tax a good idea, gas-guzzler drivers need to pay more

There's talk in New Zealand of taking the carbon neutral concept to a nationwide level. Prime Minister Helen Clarke has said she's in favor of the idea, and yesterday, Toyota New Zealand executive chairman Bob Field said that a carbon tax might be necessary to make the idea a reality. Field told the New Zealand Herald that, since all political parties in New Zealand are in favor of sustainability, that, "Corrective and collective action is long overdue if we are serious about reducing carbon emissions." This means he's in favor of a carbon tax. He's not alone. Auto executives in the country want the tax (which would be collected at fuel pumps) because it will encourage people to buy fuel-efficient vehicles. Field is a straight talker: "Drivers of gas-guzzlers should be encouraged to think of alternative choices or be prepared to pay more for the environmental damage that they are causing."
Of course, Field was trying to encourage sales of the hybrid Lexus RX400h, but can you imagine a chairman from one of the Big Three telling Americans we need to pay extra for the nastiness that comes out of an SUV? Neither can I.

[Source: Alastair Sloane / New Zealand Herald]

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