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Environmental taxes in the EU: countries compared

12/02/2019

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Government revenues from environmental taxes amounted to €369 billion in 2017 in the European Union (EU), compared with €264 billion in 2002. Over the same period, the share of environmental taxes in total government revenues from taxes and social contributions1 decreased from 6.8 % in 2002 to 6.1 % in 2017.

Taxes on energy accounted for more than three-quarters of the total revenues from environmental taxes (77 % of the total), well ahead of taxes on transport (20 %) and those on pollution and resources (3 %).

Highest share of environmental taxes in Latvia, lowest in Luxembourg

The proportion of environmental taxes in total revenues from taxes and social contributions varied significantly across the EU Member States. In 2017, Latvia had the highest share of environmental taxes (11.2 %), ahead of four other EU Member States with a share of at least 9 %: Slovenia and Greece (both 10.2 %), Croatia and Bulgaria (both 9.1 %).

At the opposite end of the scale, Luxembourg (4.4 %), Germany (4.6 %) and Sweden (4.9 %) recorded the lowest shares of environmental taxes, followed by France and Belgium (both 5.0 %).

 Bar chart: share of environmental taxes by country, 2017

The data source is here.

The share of environmental taxes in total government revenues from taxes and social contributions is part of the EU indicator set used to monitor progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is an indicator of the Resource Efficiency Scoreboard. The scoreboard monitors the implementation of the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe. Environmental taxes help to protect the environment as well as natural resources and this roadmap recommends a substantial increase in the share of environmental taxes in line with the best practice of Members States (shares exceeding 10 %).

 

1excluding imputed social contributions.

 

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