Carbon Taxes, Energy Subsidies and Smart Instrument Mixes
Edited by Stefan E. Weishaar, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne, Hope Ashiabor and Michael Mehling
Chapter 17: Exploring the policy mix for biodiversity financing: opportunities provided by environmental fiscal instruments in the EU
Existing public funding for biodiversity conservation is widely acknowledged to be inadequate to finance the actions required to meet the EU’s biodiversity conservation targets, contributing to the global targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Consequently, access to funding from other sectoral funding streams of the public domain, including through new and innovative means, is needed both in order to close the funding gap for biodiversity and to internalise the costs of conservation into sectoral activities that drive biodiversity loss. Environmental fiscal reform is considered to create several opportunities for complementing and mobilising resources for biodiversity funding. Environmental taxes, which either directly or indirectly support biodiversity, biodiversity-related environmental fees and charges (e.g. hunting charges and nature park entrance fees), and environmental tax relief mechanisms that reward certain biodiversity-friendly activities or behaviour are examples of fiscal instruments that can be used to mobilise more funding for biodiversity. Furthermore, redistributing tax revenue among government levels according to ecological criteria (i.e. ecological fiscal transfers) can also be used to support the delivery of conservation objectives. All of these instruments have so far not been widely explored in the EU and its Member States but have a potential to complement the existing policy mix for biodiversity finance. This chapter provides a review of these fiscal instruments, highlighting a number of successful examples, and explores their possible role within the context of the overall framework for biodiversity financing.
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