Environmental Taxation and Climate Change

Environmental Taxation and Climate Change

Achieving Environmental Sustainability through Fiscal Policy

Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series

Edited by Larry Kreiser, Julsuchada Sirisom, Hope Ashiabor and Janet E. Milne

Containing an authoritative set of original essays, Environmental Taxation and Climate Change provides fresh insights and analysis on how environmental sustainability can be achieved through fiscal policy. Written by distinguished environmental taxation scholars from around the world, this timely volume covers a range of hotly debated subjects including carbon related taxation in OECD countries, implications of environmental tax reforms, innovative environmental taxation and behavioural strategies, as well as many other relevant topics.

Chapter 5: Why Should There Always be a Loser in Environmental Taxation?

Sally-Ann Joseph

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law


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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