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

  • Elgar original reference

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 25: Global environmental taxes

Philippe Thalmann


Other chapters of this Handbook show that environmental taxes are very interesting instruments for environmental regulation. The question addressed in this chapter is whether they are still interesting when the environmental problem is a global one. Are they still effective and efficient? Are they feasible and acceptable? First, however, a few definitions are needed: what are global environmental problems and how could taxes help address them? A global environmental problem is an environmental problem to which nearly all countries contribute and that affects nearly all countries of the world. This implies that nearly all countries should participate in resolving it. However, individual countries contribute in different amounts and are affected in different ways. They also face different abatement costs, or costs for reducing their share of environmental harm. This implies that national contributions toward resolving the problem should be modulated. Clearly, making sure that all countries participate and allocating abatement efforts efficiently across all countries will be key issues for global environmental problems, particularly as there exists no global authority that could force participation and impose abatement efforts on sovereign countries (Carraro 1999).

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