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  • Series: Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series x
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Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

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Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

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Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

This content is available to you

Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor

This content is available to you

Stefan E. Weishaar

This chapter examines the implementation issues and barriers for introducing a carbon tax at EU Member State level. Important success determinants are related to the political economy of introducing taxes (negotiations with stakeholders, concessions, changes in proposed legislation, compromises etc.), which translate inter alia into competitiveness issues, and fairness/equity/distribution issues. For these the design of the carbon tax exemptions, and safeguards to prevent progressivity and the use of the tax proceeds are important. The analysis will focus on the ‘frontrunner’ countries in the EU which have been very successful in terms of the introduction of carbon taxes (Sweden, Denmark and Finland). The countries have employed different implementation strategies but underscore the importance of successful issue linking, timing and fostering political support by safeguarding competitiveness and by addressing income distributions.

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Mikael Skou Andersen

At the initiative of the World Bank and IMF an international coalition on carbon pricing was established in tandem with the Paris Agreement. Over the past five years, the share of global CO2 emissions subject to carbon pricing via either taxes or allowances has tripled, from 4 to 12 per cent. In anticipation of a widening gap between countries, the scope for border adjustments relative to carbon pricing deserves more attention. Border adjustments would require pricing of imports for their associated emissions to the same level as domestic goods, while exports to non-price countries may become eligible for refunds. Trade agreements under the WTO allow for such adjustment under its exemption clause provided countries do not agree to other corrective measures. As a highly sensitive measure, not only the complex technical and legal questions deserve attention, but how to make the best diplomacy of border adjustments requires careful consideration too.

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Takeshi Kawakatsu and Sven Rudolph

The Paris Agreement urgently needs underpinning by ambitious domestic policies. Greenhouse gas (GHG) pricing is still promising and has been spreading, but implementation barriers are still high. The US and Canada have shown that sub-national pricing is a viable alternative to national action. But, with the politics remaining unpredictable, Canada might rise to be the new leader in market-based climate policy from the bottom up. Against this background we analyze Canadian provinces’ approaches to GHG pricing. We use Sustainability Economics, Public Choice, New Environmental Federalism, and Polycentrism arguments as a basis and then study the British Columbia Carbon Tax and the Québec and Ontario Cap-and-Trade Programs. We mainly show that tailor-made sub-national GHG pricing is a viable strategy and that province programs are comparatively well designed and might even trigger national level action.

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Elena Aydos and Sven Rudolph

In Australia political battles about carbon pricing have been almost as fiercely fought as the duels in the 1985 Mad Max movie. While a ‘life beyond the Thunderdome’ could be facilitated by the Paris Agreement, political barriers in Australia, one of the biggest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases and the world’s leading coal exporter, remain high. Australia’s political stakeholders still struggle with this legacy of several only temporarily successful attempts to implement carbon pricing. Against this background, we evaluate Australia’s former carbon pricing initiatives based on ambitious sustainability economics criteria. Using Public Choice theory and empirical data from spring 2017, we then analyse the reasons for the political failure of earlier carbon pricing schemes, before exploring current chances of reviving the idea. We mainly argue that a growing openness of the business community and policy learning could make ‘life beyond the Thunderdome’ possible for carbon pricing in Australia.

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Vanessa Johnston

Climate change is widely accepted to pose a range of risks and challenges for Australia. As a result, Federal, State/Territory, and local governments are taking action to both mitigate, and adapt to, the consequences of climate change. This chapter explores two overarching issues of how activities undertaken to mitigate climate change are affecting land use in Australia. First, what are the nature and scope, and the grounds for exercising rights over private property under Australian law in the context of climate change? Second, how is use and enjoyment of private property affected by Australia’s flagship mechanism to encourage GHG emissions mitigation, the Emissions Reduction Fund (‘ERF’)?

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Claudia Kettner and Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig

Climate change is widely accepted to pose a range of risks and challenges for Australia. As a result, Federal, State/Territory, and local governments are taking action to both mitigate, and adapt to, the consequences of climate change. This chapter explores two overarching issues of how activities undertaken to mitigate climate change are affecting land use in Australia. First, what are the nature and scope, and the grounds for exercising rights over private property under Australian law in the context of climate change? Second, how is use and enjoyment of private property affected by Australia’s flagship mechanism to encourage GHG emissions mitigation, the Emissions Reduction Fund (‘ERF’)?