Green Fiscal Reform for a Sustainable Future

Green Fiscal Reform for a Sustainable Future

Reform, Innovation and Renewable Energy

Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series

Edited by Natalie P. Stoianoff, Larry Kreiser, Bill Butcher, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

This timely book focuses on achieving a sustainable future through the reform of green fiscal policy. Green fiscal policies help not only provide the needed financing but may also serve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015. In this volume environmental tax experts review the development of fiscal carbon policy, consider the impact of green taxation on trade and competition, analyse the lessons learned from national experiences with fuel and energy pricing, and evaluate a variety of green economic instruments.

Chapter 6: The global natural resource consumption tax

Sally-Ann Joseph

Subjects: environment, environmental economics, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, management natural resources, law - academic, environmental law, tax law and fiscal policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


It is now more than 20 years since the first call for action on climate change at the Earth Summit butthe scale of progress to date has been uninspiring. Numerous attempts have been made by the international community to negotiate a cooperative approach to tackling not only climate-related issues but also the funding to achieve these. It has been reiterated again and again that this needs to be viewed as both fair and feasible while consistent with the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities’. The focus has remained solely and consistently on greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbonrelated. Proposals to date have predominantly relied on pledges, that is, voluntary contributions or targets, which are also voluntary. Yet the issue is acknowledged to be broader than this, affecting ecosystems and biodiversity, land use changes and land management activities. Initiatives regarding international payments for ecosystem services are increasingly being adopted. The reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) scheme is an example of an incentivized system but its focus is nevertheless still on reducing emissions. The concept of a ‘global natural resource consumption tax’, which we explore in this chapter, takes a holistic view of the environment and makes all nations accountable for their use of environmental resources.

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