This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.
|Are environmental tax policies beneficial? Learning from programme evaluation studies
This paper provides a concrete example of how policy analysts can use empirical programme evaluation studies to perform ex-post assessments of environmentally related tax policies. A number of studies credibly identify causal effects of environmentally related tax policies, but do not necessarily provide all the information needed to fully inform the policy-making process. This paper argues that cost-benefit analysis (CBA) could enrich ex-post assessments of environmentally related tax policies, given that CBA provides decision makers with a broader perspective of social costs and benefits and allows the identification of potential trade-offs among policy objectives.
|Exploring the relationship between environmentally related taxes and inequality in income sources: An empirical cross-country analysis
This paper presents the first empirical analysis of the macroeconomic relationship between environmentally related taxes and inequality in income sources. The analysis investigates whether this relationship differs between countries which have implemented environmental tax reforms (ETRs) and ones which have not. Following earlier empirical literature, income inequality is measured by the disposable-income-based Gini coefficient. The analysis is based on a panel of all 34 OECD countries spanning the period from 1995 to 2011.
|Israel's Green Tax on Cars - Environment Policy Paper
In recent decades, Israel’s growing population and rising incomes have seen consumption increase substantially, bringing with it considerable pressure on the environment. One of the main environmental pressures is from the ever-increasing transport activity, especially the use of private vehicles. Although travelling in a private vehicle brings benefits to the individual using it, this entails costs to society as a whole. These social costs extend beyond the private costs of the car and the fuel borne by the car user, imposing a burden on public health and the environment.
|Competitiveness Impacts of the German Electricity Tax
by Florens Flues and Benjamin Johanees Lutz
Proposals to increase environmentally related taxes are often challenged on competitiveness grounds.This paper provides evidence on the short-term competitiveness impacts of the German electricity tax introduced unilaterally in 1999.
|Impacts of Carbon Prices on Indicators of Competitiveness
by Johanna Arlinghaus
Concerns around potential losses of competitiveness as a result of unilateral action on carbon pricing are often central for policy makers contemplating the introduction of such instruments. This paper is a review of literature on ex post empirical evaluations of the impacts of carbon prices on indicators of competitiveness as employed in the literature, including employment, output or exports, at different levels of aggregation.
|Environmental and Related Social Costs of the Tax Treatment of Company Cars and Commuting Expenses
by Rana Roy
This paper builds upon a recent OECD paper on the personal tax treatment of company cars and commuting expenses in OECD member-countries and aims to arrive at a better understanding of the environmental and related social costs of the tax treatment described therein.
|Tax Preferences for Environmental Goals: Use, Limitations and Preferred Practices
James Greene, Nils-Axel Braathen
This paper reviews the use of tax preferences to achieve environmental policy objectives. Tax preferences involve using the tax system to adjust relative prices with a view to influencing producer or consumer behaviour in favour of goods or services that are considered to be environmentally beneficial.
|The political economy of British Columbia's Carbon Tax
by Prof. Kathryn Harrison
In July 2008, the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) launched North America’s first revenue-neutral carbon tax reform. The tax, which applied to all combustion sources of all fossil fuels, was introduced at a rate of CAD 10 per tonne of CO2, with a schedule for annual increases of CAD 5 per tonne of CO2 until the tax reached CAD 30 per tonne of CO2 in 2012. This paper reviews the political economy of the BC tax in three distinct periods – its origins, its survival in the face of political backlash, and its longer-term prospects.
|The Political Economy of Fuel Subsidies in Colombia
by Helena Garcia Romero, Laura Calderon Etter
Colombia has made progress towards eliminating fuel and diesel subsidies and reducing discretionary spaces allowing for artificially low fuel prices, but challenges remain. Colombia has provided explicit and implicit subsidies to gasoline and diesel since 1983, costing the government up to 1.6% of GDP. This paper discusses the political economy of fuel subsidies in the country to understand why reform has been so slow. It focuses on the groups benefitting from the subsidies and their political participation, as well as other economic impacts that have limited the political will to eliminate them.
|Ireland's Carbon Tax and the Fiscal Crisis
by Frank J. Convery, Louise Dunne, Deirdre Joyce
Beginning in late 2008, Ireland experienced a fiscal crisis. This paper describes the features of the 2010 carbon tax, recounts the story of its interplay between fiscal adjustment and helping meet the obligations to raise taxes, and implications for competitiveness and carbon leakage, environmental effectiveness and equity issues,
|Towards Consistent and Effective Carbon Pricing in Germany?
by Ivana Capozza, Joseph Curtin
Germany committed itself to challenging greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets to 2020 and beyond. It has implemented a composite mix of policy measures to achieve its climate change mitigation goals, including a range of market-based instruments. This paper examines the carbon prices that have emerged from the implementation of three key market-based instruments in Germany: energy taxes, vehicle taxes and the EU Emissions Trading System.