Horizon Social Media Analysis


Carbon tax : Not all in favour

According to our data, the idea of a carbon tax is widely welcomed. But a minority of countries are resisting as it fuels polemics at home.

© Michael Hanschke / Reuters / China Stringer Network 

Where there is debate, there is divided opinion. This is what emerges from data collected by Horizon-Cop21 on the issue of a carbon tax. If worldwide Internet users are widely in favour of the idea (79% positive interactions), the same cannot be said for the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark and Germany.


Germans are the least convinced with only 63% of positive interactions. The country introduced a kind of carbon tax 20 years ago, but it only concerns petrol, diesel, gas and electricity consumption, not coal. This half-hearted version of a carbon tax may explain the moderate enthusiasm surrounding the measure.

In Denmark, "citizens’ goodwill" abused

In Denmark, the idea finds only 63% of support amongst Internet users. This in a country aiming for 100 % renewable energy by 2050, and whose effort has led to unprecedented tax increases. In 2011, the Jyllands-Posten newspaper said: "the Danes, who generally welcomed climate measures, have discovered their goodwill has been abused to the extreme.. Taxes are expected to increase by €230 per household."

Aviation is a huge CO2 emitter. Beijing's International AirPort.

In the United States and United Kingdom (4th and 5th least enthusiastic), the argument of the "rejection of a new tax" is one that is dominating debate on the web.

The UAE wonders what this tax finances

And last but not least among the carbon tax doubters, the United Arab Emirates with only 68% of favorable interactions. The country, one of the biggest CO2 emitters, is a big energy consumer, especially through its hydrocarbon-fueled seawater desalination programs. In 2012, they expressed doubts when the EU introduced a tax on CO2 emissions from airlines, fearing it "would serve to pay off Sovereign debt, not finance a fund for the environment.”