Taxing Energy Use

A Graphical Analysis

image of Taxing Energy Use

The taxation of different sources and uses of energy (particularly those that give rise to emissions of greenhouse gases) will play a key role in governments’ efforts to mitigate the scale of global warming and climate change. At present, effective tax rates vary widely across different sources and uses of energy within countries, as well as across countries. This publication provides the first systematic statistics of such effective tax rates – on a comparable basis - for each OECD country, together with ‘maps’ that illustrate graphically the wide variations in tax rates per unit of energy or per tonne of CO2 emissions. These statistics and maps should be an invaluable tool for policymakers, analysts and researchers considering both domestic fiscal reform in response to climate change and other environmental challenges (e.g. to achieve emissions reductions targets most cost-effectively) and wider international responses.



This report was prepared by staff of the OECD’s Centre forTax Policy and Administration (CTPA) under the guidance of James Greene. The principal authors were Michelle Harding, Alastair Thomas, Chiara Martini (of the University of Roma Tre, who held the 2011-12 Alessandro Di Battista Fellowship in the CTPA) and James Greene. The underlying spreadsheet models were designed by Michelle Harding. An important authoring contribution was also made by Maria Grazia Pazienza of the University of Florence, who was a Visiting Research Scholar in the CTPA in 2012.


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