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.



Executive summary

Energy use is a critical component of modern economies: it is a key input to production and an important element of consumer spending. However, many forms of energy – particularly fossil fuels – also contribute to significant environmental problems, such as climate change and local air pollution. The taxation of energy is a key policy instrument that, whether intended or not, has a significant impact on energy prices, energy usage and the resulting environmental impacts.


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