National Experiences in Environmental Sustainability
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, David Duff, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 3: Providing environmental taxes with an environmental purpose
The preservation of the environment among developed and developing countries alike, has been at the forefront of all the major recent international events. Over the past years there has been growing concern and awareness of the need to deal with the issue of climate change in an effective and determinant way. Unfortunately, the decision on whether or not to issue carbon taxing legislation goes through a very political process. But in times of economic downturn and crisis, governments are generally concerned about further damaging their popularity by introducing new taxes. That is the main reason why regulatory frameworks for the trading of carbon emissions permits, commonly referred to as Emissions Trading Schemes (ETS) have become so popular over the past years. By introducing an ETS, a country is in fact giving businesses and the private sector a new asset with which to trade and generate new revenues. The problem derived from this mechanism is that (so far) governments have not been able to consistently receive the cash funds they need in order to finance green actions such as the development of new green technologies, reforestation and afforestation3 of deforested areas, and stimulate the switch into greener types of energy.
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