An online petition calling for a “carbon tax” has been set up in the UK to pressure the government to repeal its “unconstitutional” carbon tax.
The petition has received more than 7,500 signatures and will be debated at a Commons debate on Thursday.
The “Green Tax” is the tax imposed on fossil fuel companies for their carbon emissions.
In its first year, the tax took effect from 1 January 2018.
The UK’s Carbon Tax is currently being assessed by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which will determine if it is legal.
The government has said it intends to repeal the carbon tax and the tax’s repeal could be “as soon as the end of the year”.
The petition, titled “We need a carbon tax”, was started by students at the University of Reading, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the anti-austerity political group, Students for a Green Britain (SGPB), and the Green Party.
The group has written to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, asking them to “immediately” repeal the UK carbon tax, and “implement a legal and regulatory mechanism to ensure a fairer tax system for the UK”.
“We want a system that is truly sustainable,” the petition read.
“We can all agree that it is vital that the UK retains a legal framework that guarantees fair taxation of carbon emissions and ensures that we don’t lose out on economic growth.”
The petition said that the tax had been “devastating” for communities, and added: “The carbon tax is unjustly damaging to the UK economy and to our climate.
We want it to end.”
The students’ petition has already attracted over 7,700 signatures, with support from many political groups, including UKIP, SGPB and the UK Green Party, which has said the “Green Climate Fund” should be consulted before any decision is made.
“There is a strong argument to be made for a carbon price that is transparent, fair and equitable, and to guarantee fair compensation to those impacted by the UK Government’s carbon trading scheme,” SGPA said in a statement.
The party has called for the government’s carbon policy to be replaced by a “Carbon Tax for the Economy”.
“The UK has the second-lowest carbon emissions per head in Europe and is the only country in the world where carbon is emitted directly into the atmosphere,” the party said.
“Our government must stop its carbon tax before it is too late and the economy is not saved.”
The UK Carbon Tax will cost consumers around £10 per tonne of CO2, which is more than the average cost of electricity in the country, and will affect households and businesses across the country.
However, there are many benefits to the government, including “a fair tax system that promotes the UK as a world leader in renewable energy and innovation”.
“A carbon tax will help us to reduce our carbon emissions while providing a fair and efficient carbon compensation system to those affected by the carbon trading regime,” said the UK Carbon Pricing Policy Committee (CPPC), which advises on how the government plans to repeal or replace the carbon taxation.
“If we don’ want to end up with a carbon market, the carbon price should be replaced with a system where people are compensated for carbon emissions in a way that is fair and transparent,” the CPPPC added.
The Conservative Party’s climate spokesman said that if the UK government does repeal the tax, the “carbon price” would remain.
“The Carbon Tax has no place in the current climate.
A carbon tax should be repealed as soon as possible,” Conservative MP and former minister Lord Ashdown told BBC News.
“Any carbon tax that is not repealed immediately will not be paid by the British taxpayer and will have a detrimental effect on our economy.”
The “green tax” would be an “effective way to reduce emissions, and we need to be looking at a carbon pricing system that makes the UK a world-leader in green technology”, he said.
However “the green tax will be in place for the foreseeable future and the cost of a carbon-neutral carbon price will continue to be borne by the public,” the MP added.