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Environmental economics

Published Studies

Study on the Economic and Environmental Implications of the Use of Environmental Taxes and Charges in the European Union and its Member States

This study evaluates the economic and environmental implications of the use of environmental taxes and charges by the EU Member States. It thus constitutes a follow-up to the Commission´s 1997 communication on Environmental taxes and charges in the Single Market (COM(97) 9).

Executive Summary and Table of Contents (pdf ~320K)

As such taxes and charges are increasingly used by Member States as a cost-effective instrument to implement the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, it is important to compare their approaches and analyse the impacts. An overview (pdf ~480K) chapter presents those taxes in all Member States and also the CEEC accession candidates. Given that taxes on energy products (incl. CO2 and SO2 taxes) and vehicle taxes have already been extensively researched, the study looks in detail at 9 different types of "small" environmental taxes (in terms of revenue): NOx (pdf ~150K), water abstraction (pdf ~90K), waste water (pdf ~140K), pesticides (pdf ~220K), fertilizers (pdf ~160K), landfill (pdf ~260K), aggregates (pdf ~160K), packaging (pdf ~160K), batteries (pdf ~160K)

For each of the 9 types of taxes, three cases of application are analysed in detail (2 cases for water abstraction taxes/charges, 4 cases for fertilizer taxes). For each of the taxes, basic issues, such as its design, administration, revenue and its use are explained. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of its environmental effects, effects on competitiveness, the internal market, trade and employment is undertaken. Please also look at the summary (pdf ~290K) of these taxes in tabular form.

Finally, for three taxes (UK landfill tax (pdf ~380K), German waste water tax (pdf ~230K), Danish pesticides tax (pdf ~290K)), a more detailed and more quantitative analysis of these effects is undertaken (individual icons for each tax). The conclusion (pdf ~120K) summarizes the key results of the analyses concerning the effects of environmental taxes and presents some key lessons for future environmental tax policy.

Annex 1: Bibliography (pdf ~50K)
Annex 2: Methodology: Evaluation Questionnaire (pdf ~60K)
Annex 3: Environmental Taxes and Charges in CEECs: The Czech Republic Case (pdf ~100K)
Annex 4: Supporting Information (UK Aggregates Tax) (pdf ~50K)