UVM PA 395 - Weston-CarbonEU (7 pages)

Previewing pages 1, 2 of 7 page document View the full content.
View Full Document

Weston-CarbonEU



Previewing pages 1, 2 of actual document.

View the full content.
View Full Document
View Full Document

Weston-CarbonEU

125 views


Pages:
7
School:
The University of Vermont
Course:
Pa 395 - International Development NGO
International Development NGO Documents
Unformatted text preview:

Carbon Taxes in Selected European Union Countries An Overview of Initiatives Rachel Weston PA 395 Green Tax VT 1 9 21 04 The 1997 Kyoto Protocol has set emissions targets for certain countries to reduce their greenhouse gas production The Protocol was a response to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCC which called for the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system Bahn There are a few policy approaches that a country may employ to meet their set emission targets 1 A Market based approach A a tax may be put on things that would emit greenhouse gasses such as gasoline coal and electricity The consumption of such goods will decrease with the greater cost and create a demand for renewable non taxed goods Revenue from taxes can create a double dividend Bahn where the environment will improve and so will the tax system Tax revenue can be used to fund clean sources of energy B Emissions credits could be traded from countries that exceed their Kyoto target to countries that have not met their target 2 Governmental Regulation the government sets limits for consumption and emissions for industry and possibly citizens This approach would not seem to work well in democratic countries where such regulations would come under high public and private scrutiny for their encroachment on liberty It must be noted that the Clean Air Act won public approval though industry is still trying to undermine it via Bush s Clear Skies Initiative 3 Voluntary reductions through public education An excellent tool for getting information to citizens However this approach alone will not meet the Kyoto target For this paper I will be focusing in on methods used to reduce CO2 emissions in Europe primarily market based approaches SWEDEN Sweden has a high per capita electricity use which is partly due to the rapid expansion of electric space heating during the 1980 s and also due to electricity 2 intensive industry The Swedish Parliament has fifteen environmental quality objectives one of which is to be able to hand over a society to the next generation in which the major environmental problems have been solved Johansson Thinking into the future Sweden has enacted a daring energy taxation system to meet this objective A carbon tax was introduced in Sweden in 1991 Carbon dioxide emission is taxed at a rate of 150 per ton Sweden already had energy taxes on fossil fuels that were set up in the 1980 s they were reduced by fifty percent when the carbon tax was set up There also taxes on electricity consumption and production A tax was put onto nuclear electricity production as Sweden does not want to encourage nuclear industry Most of the tax burden falls on the general public as Swedish industry receives many breaks from the energy and carbon tax system see chart below Industry does not have to pay energy or carbon taxes on fuels used for electricity production nor does it have to pay the electricity consumer tax Industry is required to pay only a value added tax on all electricity consumed and it is given a 50 reduction on the carbon tax rate for fuels used in industry From 1993 to 1997 they were only required to pay 25 of the rate Energy carbon and sulfur taxes in the energy sector Swedish Energy Administration 1999 3 As a result of the energy carbon electricity tax system in 2000 Sweden had reduced its Co2 emissions by 20 25 measured against the previous policies from 1990 Industry has not responded with large improvements most likely because it does not feel enough economic pressure due to its exemptions from much of the tax New technological advances in biomass extraction and the development of a biomass market in the Swedish district heating system have also been a result of the tax system In 1998 40 of the energy supply came from clean sources nuclear hydro biofuels with 27 of the energy coming from the renewable sources of biofuels and hydroelectric Oil products supplied 33 of the energy with the remaining 7 being listed as other Johansson GERMANY The German government has enacted ecological tax reform in the form of taxing diesel gasoline electricity and a small tax on heating oil and natural gas The revenues from these taxes are applied to employers and employees social security benefits reducing individual payments and allowing business to hire more people The revenues are also applied to renewable energy As with Sweden the tax rate on energy will create a drive for people to conserve more energy to lower their bills As noted in a document from the Federal Environment Ministry this energy saving activity will create more jobs and economic opportunity in the form of thermal insulation development production installation and maintenance of new highly efficient technologies with corresponding export opportunities FEM Industry is given exemptions from part of the German eco tax Manufacturing agriculture and forestry are taxed at 20 of the regular rate and manufacturing can apply for a tax cap if the new burden is 1 2 xs more than they would have paid out to social security under the old system Industry is given a reduced rate due to recognition of competition and the ease at which companies may move out of Germany to a more hospitable tax area Public transportation and public track and rail systems must only pay half of the rate increase on mineral oil tax on fuel for ecological reasons to encourage this kind of transport Also people who have solar panels windmills and other such renewable sources that generate electricity for themselves are exempt from the tax Highly efficient gas steam and combined heat and power plants are granted full 4 exemption from the mineral oil tax in order to give efficient technologies a competitive boost FEM The results of the German ecological tax reform are as follows Over 200 million Euros per year are spent to promote renewable energies which is over 20 of the revenue from the taxes At current rates Co2 emissions will have decreased 2 3 by 2005 250 000 new jobs were added to the labor market by 2003 Diesel and gasoline consumption decreased considerably for three years in a row 2000 2002 even though the prior trend had been annual increases Carpooling increased by 25 and rail passengers by 2 There are more natural gas powered cars on the road Manufacturers of solar hot water heaters have reported double digit growth Believe it or not


View Full Document

Access the best Study Guides, Lecture Notes and Practice Exams

Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view Weston-CarbonEU and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Weston-CarbonEU and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?