Environmentally Related Taxes in OECD Countries

Issues and Strategies

It is now widely recognised that a greater use of market based instruments is a key element of effective and economically efficient environmental policies, and an important framework condition for sustainable development. Hence, over the last decade, economic instruments have been playing a growing role in environmental policies of OECD countries. In this context, a distinctive feature is the increasing role of environmentally related taxes. All countries have introduced environmental taxes to a varying extent, and an increasing number of countries are implementing comprehensive green-tax reforms, while others are contemplating doing so.

This report analyses current use of environmentally related taxes in OECD Member countries. Focus is given to their environmental effectiveness. The report identifies obstacles to a broader use of such taxes -- in particular the fear of loss of sectoral competitiveness -- and ways to overcome such problems.

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