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Taxing Energy Use 2015

OECD and Selected Partner Economies

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Energy is a critical input into the production and consumption patterns that support economic and social wellbeing. However, many forms of energy use contribute to the environmental and climate challenges societies face today. Taxation is a key tool by which governments can influence energy use to contain its environmental impacts. This report provides a systematic analysis of the structure and level of energy taxes in OECD and selected other countries; together, they cover 80% of global energy use.

This report builds on the 2013 edition of Taxing Energy Use, expanding the geographic coverage of the 2013 data set to include Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. The report describes energy use, taxation and pricing in these countries and presents detailed graphical profiles of the structure of energy use and taxation for each.

The analysis reveals large differences in the taxation of energy across countries, although common patterns emerge. Transport taxes are considerably higher than in other sectors, where fuels that cause considerable harm for the environment and human health are often taxed at very low – or zero – rates. With few exceptions, countries' energy taxes do not harness the full power of taxes to reduce pollution and combat climate change.

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Taxing energy use in the 41 countries

This chapter discusses the reasons for energy taxation, patterns of energy use and pricing policies in the 41 countries included in the report. It outlines the methodology used to develop graphical profiles of energy use and taxation in each country and to conduct the cross-country analysis. It then presents the results of the cross-country analysis, considering general trends in energy use, the taxation of energy used in different sectors (transport, heating and process use and electricity generation), economy-wide tax rates on energy, and the links between taxes, GDP and energy use per capita. The final part of the section draws conclusions on the impact of current energy pricing and tax measures.

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