Design, Experiences and Issues
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Mikael S. Andersen, Birgitte E. Olsen, Stefan Speck, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 13: Motivating environmental tax reform through coalitions of like-minded countries
There is growing use of environmental taxes in Europe and a new momentum behind the environmental tax reform (ETR) agenda. What began as an exercise among a small vanguard of European countries twenty five years ago has gradually expanded to encompass a wider set of countries across the globe. Several plans are underway to introduce new environmental taxes or amend existing systems, either as part of a broader package of fiscal reform or as individual proposals. Some recent initiatives have been in response to fiscal necessities, while others seek to support wider environmental, economic and social objectives. ETR has attracted increasing attention at EU level, for example appearing in policy discussions on climate change; and globally, for example in discussions on reforming incentives harmful to biodiversity (Oosterhuis and ten Brink, 2014). Environmental taxes are considered a useful and important part of the policy mix. When carefully designed, such instruments can provide incentives to encourage dynamic innovation, change the business case for investment, and inform consumer choice, thus helping to deliver economic (for example, revenue, innovation, employment), social (for example, health, income distribution, affordability) and environmental (for example, resource efficiency, energy security, pollution mitigation) benefits. Impacts depend on several factors including design (such as point of application, breadth of coverage), level (such as rate applied, revisions over time), implementation (such as exemptions granted, associated conditionalities, evolution over time), and use of revenues.
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