Achieving Environmental Sustainability through Fiscal Policy
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Julsuchada Sirisom, Hope Ashiabor and Janet E. Milne
Chapter 3: Lagging Behind or Catching Up? A Comparison of Chinese and European Environmentally Related Taxes
Kris Bachus and Jing Cao
Kris Bachus and Jing Cao 3.1 INTRODUCTION In the past 15 years, much has been written on the environmentally related tax systems of European countries. Environmental tax reforms in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany are considered to be the most important cases (National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus (NERI) 2007), hence they are the subject of many publications on both academic and policy oriented levels. On the other hand, publications on environmental tax reform in China are still relatively scarce. This is partly due to the fact that the policy debate in China on environmentally related taxes has started only recently. Belgium is another country that is rarely selected for comparative studies on environmentally related taxes, since it has never implemented a green tax reform and its federal political model is very complex. Still, the policy debate on environmental tax reform has come to the forefront several times, a number of environmentally related taxes have a long history and some features of its tax system are deﬁnitely interesting to study. In this chapter, we make a comparative analysis of the Chinese and Belgian environmental tax systems and their history and political economy. China is mainly compared with Belgium, but part of the comparison also includes other European countries. One environmental tax, the transport fuel tax (diesel and gasoline) is selected for a more in-depth analysis. With this comparison we aim to ﬁnd out whether China is catching up with the European Union...
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