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 5: Why Should There Always be a Loser in Environmental Taxation?
Sally-Ann Joseph A. INTRODUCTION Despite the lack of an unequivocal conceptual deﬁnition of resilience and its relationship to other key concepts such as vulnerability, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, the economic dimension to ecological degradation is clear: environmental damage, biodiversity loss and depletion of natural resources reduce corporate productivity (Salzmann, Ionescu-Somers and Steger, 2005). Reduced corporate productivity negatively impacts on corporate proﬁtability resulting in decreased taxation revenues. Climate change resilience requires the implementation of measures that proactively increases productivity by reducing climate impacts. To achieve this either there must be a drastic reduction in consumption of resources or there must be a drastic increase in resource productivity. The latter is more attractive, economically, socially and politically. Two major environmental or climate change concerns are associated with the business sector. These are (1) the use, and subsequent depletion, of non-renewable resources and (2) pollution or the contribution made to global warming through emissions. To have an impact on these requires large-scale change in corporate behavior. But equally, the current framework for doing business does not appear to reward those companies trying to be sustainable. Measures taken to date have not aligned corporate and environmental goals resulting in there always being losers (actual or perceived) requiring some form of compensation by the government. Whether monetary recompense or exemptions from the regime, the overall complexity of the system is increased and the beneﬁts watered down thus extending the concept of losers beyond those originally impacted even as far as to the...
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