Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation
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Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation

Edited by Janet E. Milne and Mikael S. Andersen

The Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation captures the state of the art of research on environmental taxation. Written by 36 specialists in environmental taxation from 16 countries, it takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, focusing on issues that are universal to using taxation to achieve environmental goals.
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Chapter 11: Gaining intergovernmental acceptance: legal rules protecting trade

Birgitte Egelund Olsen


To date, multilateral efforts to liberalize trade and prevent environmental degradation have proceeded largely along separate paths. However, these parallel regimes are more and more likely to come into closer contact with each other as environmental policies come to have significant economic effects. Environmental taxes are increasingly being used for the pursuit of environmental policy objectives. However, national environmental tax schemes may come into conflict with trade rules where they affect domestic and imported products differently. Concerns that prospective domestic measures might breach multilateral trade rules have presumably led to less environmentally ambitious regulatory frameworks. However, opportunities exist for making trade regulation and environmental taxation more complementary, and it would be possible for trade law and environmental law to work more closely together to avoid conflicts between their different interests. One integrative step could be to facilitate a coordinated approach to the taxation of carbon or energy, for example in multilateral environmental negotiations.

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