Environmental tax revenues (env_ac_tax)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts, sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 03/12/2020
2.2. Metadata last posted 03/12/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 03/12/2020

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Environmental tax statistics are part of the environmental accounts which constitute a satellite account to national accounts.

Environmental tax revenue series display total tax revenue by category of environmental taxes: energy taxes, transport taxes and the sum of pollution and resource taxes (the revenue for these two tax categories is aggregated as for some countries the split between pollution and resource taxes was not available). Series are presented in monetary terms and as percentages of total taxes and social contributions (TSC) as well as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The data was updated in December 2020 for the EU Member States. Aggregates are also published for the entire EU and Euro area.

This metadata refers to environmental tax revenues calculated by selecting in the national tax list (NTL) from December 2020 of each country the taxes for which an environmental code (E for Energy, T for Transport or P/RS for Pollution and Resource taxes) was attributed.

Data on environmental tax revenues published in Eurobase table 'env_ac_tax' is broadly in line with the data on environmental taxes by economic activity (collected by Eurostat under a different legal basis and released in Eurobase table 'env_ac_taxind2. Some discrepancies still occur mainly due to vintage issues (i.e., given that both data collections have the same deadline some of the most recent revisions undertaken to the NTL cannot be taken into account when compiling or validating the statistics on environmental taxes).

For countries which are not covered in the national tax list published by Eurostat, the total tax revenues by category were selected from the 2020 data collection on environmental taxes by economic activity (data up to 2018). This was the case for Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

3.2. Classification system

Classification according to national accounts (ESA 2010)

The following three types of taxes are distinguished:

  • D2: taxes on production and imports (§ 4.14),
  • D5: current taxes on income, wealth,etc. (§ 4.77),      
  • D91: capital taxes (§ 4.148).

Classification according to environmental tax category

For analytical purposes, the environmental taxes are divided into four categories: energy taxes (including CO2 taxes), transport taxes, pollution and resource taxes. Until 2014 there were only three categories. The code 'P/RS' was introduced in the 2019 NTL as for some countries the distinction between pollution taxes and resource taxes was not possible due to missing or insufficiently detailed information.

For more information on tax revenue presented separately for pollution and resource taxes, see: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=env_ac_taxind2&lang=en

3.3. Coverage - sector

General government sector (S.13) as well as subsectors as well as the Institutions of the EU (S.212). The general government sector as defined in ESA 2010 (paragraph 2.111) consists "of institutional units which are non-market producers whose output is intended for individual and collective consumption, and are financed by compulsory payments made by units belonging to other sectors, and institutional units principally engaged in the redistribution of national income and wealth".

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Environmental tax statistics are based on concepts and methods from 'Environmental taxes - a statistical guide' (http:/ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-manuals-and-guidelines/-/KS-GQ-13-005). Environmental tax statistics are part of the environmental accounts which constitute satellite accounts to national accounts.

Definition of an environmental tax (Regulation (EU) N° 691/2011)

An environmental tax is a tax whose tax base is a physical unit (or a proxy of a physical unit) of something that has a proven, specific negative impact on the environment, and which is identified in ESA 2010 as a tax.

Only payments that are identified as taxes in the national accounts can be considered as environmental taxes whereas other types of payments to government are not considered. Environmental tax statistics rely on the tax definition of the national accounts as a reference because this improves international comparability of the statistics, and allows integration of the tax data with the national accounts and with systems of environmental and economic accounting. (See also the "ESA 2010 Manual of Government Deficit and Debt" which contains Eurostat decisions on recording of taxes and social contributions).

In order to define environmental taxes precisely and to ensure international comparability, a list of tax bases was established. All taxes defined as such in the national accounts and relying on the tax bases listed below comply to the definition of an environmental tax.

Energy (including fuel for transport)
  - Energy products for transport purposes
              · Unleaded petrol
              · Leaded petrol
              · Diesel
              · Other energy products for transport purposes (e.g. LPG, natural gas, kerosene or fuel oil)
  - Energy products for stationary purposes
              · Light fuel oil
              · Heavy fuel oil
              · Natural gas
              · Coal
              · Coke
              · Biofuels
              · Electricity consumption and production
              · District heat consumption and production
              · Other energy products for stationary use
  - Greenhouse gases
              · Carbon content of fuels
              · Emissions of greenhouse gases (including proceeds from emission permits recorded as taxes in the national accounts)
Transport (excluding fuel for transport)
  - Motor vehicles import or sale (one off taxes)
  - Registration or use of motor vehicles, recurrent (e.g. yearly taxes)
  - Road use (e.g. motorway taxes)
  - Congestion charges and city tolls (if taxes in national accounts)
  - Other means of transport (ships, airplanes, railways, etc.)
  - Flights and flight tickets
  - Vehicle insurance (excludes general insurance taxes)
  - Measured or estimated emissions to air
                · Measured or estimated NOx emissions
                · Measured or estimated SOx emissions
                · Other measured or estimated emissions to air (excluding CO2)
  - Ozone depleting substances (e.g. CFCs or halons)
  - Measured or estimated effluents to water
               · Measured or estimated effluents of oxydisable matter (BOD, COD)
               · Other measured or estimated effluents to water
               · Effluent collection and treatment, fixed annual taxes
  - Non-point sources of water pollution
               · Pesticides (based on e.g. chemical content, price or volume)
               · Artificial fertilisers (based on e.g. phosphorus or nitrogen content or price)
               · Manure
  - Waste management
               · Collection, treatment or disposal
               · Individual products (e.g. packaging, beverage containers, batteries, tyres, lubricants)
  - Noise (e.g. aircraft take-off and landings)
  - Water abstraction
  - Harvesting of biological resources (e.g. timber, hunted and fished species)
  - Extraction of raw materials (e.g. minerals, oil and gas)
  - Landscape changes and cutting of trees

Value added type taxes (VAT) are excluded from the definition of environmental taxes. This is mainly because of the special characteristics of this type of tax. VAT is a tax levied on all products (with few exceptions), and it is deductible for many producers, but not for households.

Correspondingly, it does not influence relative prices in the same way that the environmental taxes do through specific environmental tax bases.

Also excluded are taxes on the extraction of oil and gas. These taxes are often designed to capture the resource rent and the related payments should be classified as property income.

The EU Regulation N° 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2011 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32011R0691:EN:NOT) provides a framework for the development of various types of environmental accounts. Environmental taxes by economic activity are included in Annex II of this Regulation.


1) PC_TSCO_X_ISCO: percentage of total revenues from taxes and social contributions (excluding imputed social contributions), i.e., using the first definition of TSC aggregate (cf. below). This indicator remains the reference since it is comparable to the previous ratios published under ESA 95 concepts.

2) PC_TSCO: percentage of total revenues from taxes and social contributions (including imputed social contributions), i.e., using the second definition of TSC aggregate (cf. below). This ratio can be used as a complementary indicator of the reference one.

3) PC_GDP: percentage of Gross domestic product (GDP)

Total taxes and social contributions (TSC)

This aggregate is used to calculate the share of environmental tax revenues (ETR) in total taxes and social contribution (TSC). The TSC aggregate is compiled on a national accounts (ESA 2010) basis. It comprises all detailed tax and social contribution receipts for the general government sector (S.13) and its sub-sectors (central, state, local and social security funds) plus the Institutions of the EU (S.212).

Two TSC aggregates based on ESA2010 can be used to calculate the share of environmental tax revenues:

The first TSC aggregate is called "Total receipts from taxes and compulsory social contributions after deduction of amounts assessed but unlikely to be collected". It is defined as the sum of the following components: TSC(1) = D2 + D5 + D91 + D611C +D613C - D995

The second TSC aggregate also takes into account all imputed items – imputed social contributions (D612), households social contribution supplements (D614) adjusted for social insurance scheme service charges (D61SC) -  as well as voluntary actual social contributions (D611V + D613V), and is therefore broader than the previous one. It is called "Total receipts from taxes and social contributions after deduction of amounts assessed but unlikely to be collected".

It is defined as the sum of the following components: TSC(2) = D2 + D5 + D91 + D61 - D995


Gross domestic product at market prices

GDP is used to calculate the share of environmental revenues in the GDP. GDP is measured at current prices (nominal values). GDP series were revised after the implementation of ESA 2010 leading to a possible impact on environmental tax revenue as share of GDP.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical units are the institutional units as defined in ESA2010: "economic entity characterised by decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function".

Council Regulation (EEC) No 696/93 of 15 March 1993 on the statistical units for the observation and analysis of the production system in the Community describes the different statistical units of the production system.

For environmental tax revenues the relevant entities are the institutional units included to general government sector (S.13) and to Institutions of the EU (S212) according to ESA 2010:

  • (a) general government units;
  • (b) a corporation or quasi-corporations which is a government unit, if the output is mainly non-market and a government unit controls it;
  • (c) non-profit institutions recognised as inde­pendent legal entities which are non-market producers and which are controlled by general government;
  • (d) autonomous pension funds, where there is a legal obligation to contribute, and where gen­eral government manages the funds with respect to the settlement and approval of con­tributions and benefits;
  • (e) institutions and bodies of the European Union.
3.6. Statistical population

The target population is all units of general government sector as well as the Institutions of the EU.

3.7. Reference area

The environmental tax revenues are published separately for each EU Member State, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, as well as aggregated for the EU and the Euro area.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The time series, for which data are collected, cover the period from 1995 to 2019. For some countries the data cover a more restricted period.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

Data are presented:

  • Millions of euro (from 1.1.1999)/Millions of ECU (up to 31.12.1998),
  • Millions of national currency,
  • Percentage of GDP and percentage of total revenues from taxes and social contributions (TSC).

All series in millions of euros or in millions of national currency are measured at current prices.

5. Reference Period Top

The data refer to the calendar year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

The data collection on environmental taxes by economic activity is part of the EU Regulation N° 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2011 (Regulation (EU) No 691/2011). This Regulation provides a framework for the development of various types of environmental accounts. Environmental taxes by economic activity are included in Annex II of this Regulation.

The national tax lists are collected by Eurostat as a complement of table 9 of the ESA 2010 (European system of accounts) transmission programme.  National Accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) adopted in the form of a Council Regulation dated 21 May 2013, No 549/2013 and published in the Official Journal L 174 of the 26/06/2013. A consolidated version is available on http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32013R0549&from=EN

The legal basis for the "Main national accounts tax aggregates" domain is Table 0900 "Detailed tax and social contribution receipts by type of tax and social contribution and receiving subsector" of the ESA 2010 transmission programme - Annex B of Council Regulation (EU) N° 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Eurostat makes available all non-confidential and sufficiently reliable data on its dissemination website.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Confidential data are flagged "as confidential" and not published. Aggregated data respect Eurostat confidentiality rules. 

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Data are not bound by an advance release calendar. All data on environmental tax revenue are published once all national tax lists were validated and disseminated by Eurostat. 

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

What's new article is planned to be published shortly after uploading the new data on Eurostat website. 

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics Explained articles

Environmental tax statistics

Environmental taxes - detailed analysis

Tax_revenue_statistics – this article contains all national tax lists (validated and published by Eurostat)

Other publications dealing with environmental taxes

Taxation trends in the European Union: Data for the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway, 2020

Energy, transport and environment statistics, Statistical book, 2020 edition

Key figures on Europe - 2020 edition

Other information

"Taxes in Europe" database

DG Energy oil bulletin (published weekly)

IEA Energy Prices and Taxes (published every quarter)

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Eurostat Database by themes: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database

Environment and Energy – Environment – Environmental taxes - Environmental tax revenues (env_ac_tax)

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The reference compilation manual is: Environmental taxes - A statistical guide, 2013 edition

The methodological framework is the European system of accounts, 2010 edition (ESA 2010).

The "Manual of Government Deficit and Debt Implementation of ESA 2010" contains also Eurostat decisions on recording of taxes and social contributions.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not applicable

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The plausibility of the data is checked for each transmission and Member States are asked for some additional information in case of any doubts about data quality.

However, due to the complexity, volume and heterogeneity of data sources, quality assurance is based to a large extent on assessing primary sources and processes rather than the final product. Eurostat undertakes EDP dialogue and methodological visits to Member States, during which it reviews issues related to taxes and social contributions data.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Overall data are of very good quality. Data are collected from reliable sources applying high standards with regard to the methodology and ensuring a high degree of comparability.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Environmental policy aims to reach environmental and sustainable development goals. Policy makers use incentive-based tools to ensure that environmental solutions are found at least cost, for correcting externalities and/or raising revenues for specific purposes.

The environmental tax revenues measured as share of the whole taxes and social contributions is an indicator supporting the assessment of progress towards "greening" the taxation system. Achieving that 10% of taxes and social contributions in the EU are environmental taxes by 2020 is suggested in part II of the Working Paper on the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe. This indicator reflects a certain degree of internalization of environmental impacts in the national economies.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

There are no systematic studies of user satisfaction. Eurostat has regular hearings with European policymakers and contacts with the research community and other stakeholders to monitor the relevance of the statistics produced and identify new priorities.

12.3. Completeness

The data are complete, meaning they include all Member States (plus Norway and Switzerland) and allow the computation of aggregates and indicators at the level of the EU as well as Euro area.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The overall accuracy is considered to be good.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable to statistical accounts

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable to statistical accounts

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Eurostat disseminates data with a delay of about 12 months after the end of the reference year, e.g. data for the reference year 2019 have been available in December 2020. 

14.2. Punctuality

Not applicable because there is no release calendar 

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The comparability across countries is good due to clear statistical concepts and definitions. In this way a harmonised statistical framework for environmental taxes was published in 2001 and entirely revised in 2013. The use of this Eurostat manual and the checks by Eurostat enhance the comparability between countries. However, the primary data sources used for compilation of data by the Member States may differ in terms of quality. 

15.2. Comparability - over time

Comparability over time is high as the methodology for environmental taxes follows a well-defined standard.

Comparable time series are available starting with 1995 reference year.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Another series of data on environmental taxes may complete information provided by the present dataset: data collection on environmental taxes by economic activity (data broken down to payer available for the majority of countries up to 2018).

For some countries the total for environmental taxes by economic activity does not exactly match the total for environmental tax revenue. The same applies to the totals by category of environmental taxes. However, such discrepancies are generally low.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The data reported are internally coherent (totals are equal to the sum of the breakdowns). However, rounding issues could result in some gaps between totals and the sum of its components.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Every year Eurostat publishes the complete time series, which may lead to revisions of data previously published.

17.2. Data revision - practice

The published data should be regarded as final, unless otherwise stated.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

For the environmental tax revenue the data source is the national tax lists transmitted every year to Eurostat as a complement of table 9 of the ESA 2010 transmission programme. Environmental taxes are selected from the NTLs on the basis of their environmental code (E, T, P/RS).

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

The main data source used are the national tax lists (NTLs) transmitted every year by Member States to Eurostat as a complement of table 9 of the ESA 2010 transmission programme.

Eurostat collects and checks data under a specific template respecting national accounts rules.

18.4. Data validation

The validation of the national tax revenue data is done in cooperation with the Member States.  The plausibility and consistency of the data is checked for each transmission and Member States are asked for some additional information in case of any doubts about data quality.

18.5. Data compilation

EU aggregates (total tax revenues by category) are derived by summing up country totals. Two indicators are also derived from the total environmental tax revenues per country and at the EU level (plus EA19):

  • share of environmental tax revenues in GDP,
  • share of environmental tax revenues in taxes and social contributions (two different definitions, cf. 3.4).
18.6. Adjustment

Not relevant

19. Comment Top

Not applicable

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top