Edited by Theodoros Zachariadis, Janet E. Milne, Mikael Skou Andersen and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 14: Environmental taxation in sub-Saharan Africa: barriers and policy options
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are severely impacted by environmental problems; their public revenues are often below the 15% tax-to-GDP threshold; and high inequality hinders sustainable development. While environmental taxation could contribute to tackling these issues, implementation barriers are significant. This chapter provides an analysis of barriers faced by developing and least developed countries in the region in adopting environmental fiscal policy, and examples of their successful overcoming. Building on these considerations, the chapter proposes an innovative blueprint to guide policymakers in the decision to introduce (or amend) environmental taxation. The blueprint, aiming to fill a gap in specific policy guidance for these countries, is composed of 17 questions, intended to provide support in: (i) assessing the broader environmental, fiscal and socioeconomic framework for introducing environmental taxation; (ii) outlining policy priorities and intended outcomes; and (iii) identifying and overcoming constraints in administration, institutional capacity and political acceptance – key barriers detected in the analysis.
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