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E-M:/ News on Environmental Taxes in Europe

Title: News on Environmental Taxes in Europe
Environmental Taxes In the Netherlands Account for 14 Percent of Revenue
The Dutch finance ministry announced the release of new data last week finding that 14 percent of total revenue in the Netherlands came from environmental taxes. That percentage makes the Netherlands the EU leader in environmental taxation. By 2002 that percentage is expected to increase to just over 15 percent of revenue. In 1997 green taxes accounted for about 10 percent of revenue in the Netherlands and 6.71 percent EU-wide. A national stakeholder working group studying new prospects for environmental taxes in the country has released a report finding that new green taxes, with the possible exception of an industrial energy tax, are unlikely. Instead, tax breaks and incentives to encourage energy efficient and environmentally-safe products will be considered. (ENDS Environment Daily, July 13, 2001)

CSE Releases Survey of Environmental Tax Reform in Europe
Center for a Sustainable Economy (CSE) last week released Environmental Tax Reform: The European Experience, a comprehensive study showing that several European countries have taken significant steps toward addressing climate change without harming their economies. The report focuses on environmental tax reform -- recycling revenue from taxes on pollution or natural resource depletion to lower other taxes, such as payroll or income taxes --measures enacted in eight European countries since 1990.  The report finds that many European countries have replaced a portion of payroll or other taxes with revenues from increased taxes on carbon emitted from energy sources, sulfur dioxide, or a variety of other harmful pollutants. Sixty-five percent of the economic simulations surveyed in the study found environmental taxes to have positive or zero impact on GDP and 78 percent of simulations predict that these types of tax reforms will have a positive effect on employment.  The findings of the report contradict claims made by the Bush administration that action on climate change must necessarily hurt the economy. (Center for a Sustainable Economy, Europeans Address Climate Change without Harming Economies, Press Release, July 12, 2001)
For the executive summary or to download the full report go to

Arlin S. Wasserman
Policy Director
Michigan Land Use Institute