EU Commission urges Member States to act on post-crisis finances by shifting taxation to polluting sectors

EU Commission urges Member States to act on post-crisis finances by shifting taxation to polluting sectors

Last week, the European Commission published the Country Reports – a detailed Member State by Member State assessment in the context of the European Semester.  It concludes that EU countries should exploit the potential of Environmental Fiscal Reform (EFR). The bloc’s average of 6.3% of environmental tax take (in terms of total tax revenue) in 2014 was short of an indicative 10% goal set in 2011. GBE welcomes Brussels’ calls on Member States […]

Environmental tax reform: some proposals and intentions in the Netherlands for 2017

Environmental tax reform: some proposals and intentions in the Netherlands for 2017

10 January 2017 Hans Vos  (hansbvos@gmail.com) The 2017 Fiscal Plan The major overhaul of the Dutch fiscal system as expected to commence since 2013[1], has not made much progress during 2016. The preparations will not start before March 2017 (national elections), although intentions may feature in the election programmes of several political parties. The 2017 Fiscal Plan makes no reference to any form of continuation of a green tax reform. […]

Change in fuel tax rates and electric car subsidy in Hungary

Change in fuel tax rates and electric car subsidy in Hungary

Fuel tax amendment According to a new law on taxes which was adopted by the Parliament in June 2016, as of 1 September 2016, if the market price of the oil exceeds USD 50/barrel, then the applicable excise duty of fuels will be modified as follows: Unleaded petrol – HUF 120,000/thousand litre, Diesel oil – HUF 110,350/thousand litre. If the market price of the oil does not exceed USD 50/barrel, […]

Submission by Green Budget Europe to public consultation on DG Competition’s review of the General Block Exemption Regulations (State aid): extension to ports and airports

Submission by Green Budget Europe to public consultation on DG Competition’s review of the General Block Exemption Regulations (State aid): extension to ports and airports

James Nix, Director of Green Budget Europe, sent the following submission on 8 December 2016 in response to the Commission’s Directorate General of Competition public consultation. The Commission is proposing to exempt airports with fewer than 3 million passengers annually from State aid rules. Green Budget Europe argues this is a wrong-headed response to acknowledged subsidy dependence on the part of these airports. We note the Commission proposal to ‘block […]

Green tax shift is a priority for new political party in Denmark

Green tax shift is a priority for new political party in Denmark

In Denmark, a new political party called Alternativet (the Alternative) [1] has made combatting climate change and rising inequality its main priorities. The party, which claims to be an alternative to the mainstream left-right political paradigm, has plans to initiate a transition to a more sustainable and equitable economy – and green taxation is central to their agenda. The group aims to step up efforts to implement Environmental Fiscal Reform […]

Winter Package: Capacity mechanism rules must better account for carbon intensity

Winter Package: Capacity mechanism rules must better account for carbon intensity

Commission has made some progress on carbon intensity – but needs to go much further On 30 November, the European Commission published its Winter Package [1] – a set of legislative proposals aimed at boosting renewable energy and security of supply. Part of the legislation seeks to shape Member State law on capacity mechanisms for energy production, and the Commission has acted firmly to prevent market distortion, and allow electricity […]

Social equity must be central to new household water charges in Ireland

Social equity must be central to new household water charges in Ireland

As debate grows over how to protect and manage water services in Ireland, GBE highlights the need for a fair pricing structure that reduces waste and supports households equitably. An expert commission tasked with determining the best approach to fund domestic public water services in Ireland is shortly expected to outline its conclusions. The protection, management and maintenance of water services has been a key point of political debate in […]

Without a tax, nutrients worth 25% of the CAP budget are lost to water and air every year

Without a tax, nutrients worth 25% of the CAP budget are lost to water and air every year

It’s startling to think that fertilizer worth 25% of the CAP budget is lost to water and air, bringing with it a wide array of environmental problems, perhaps the most visible of which is eutrophication – which typically leads to a slimy green coating of algae which compromises far too many of our lakes and rivers. However, an EU-wide tax on artificial fertilizer would reduce these losses, first by boosting […]

France warned off Carbon Price Floor in July 2016 report

France warned off Carbon Price Floor in July 2016 report

A report published in mid July [1] warned France away from replicating the UK’s Carbon Price Floor. The Carbon Price Floor in the UK stands at about €25 per tonne and applies to all electricity generation. The authors of the report – Pascal Canfin (now director of WWF France), Alain Grandjean (former leader of the national debate on the energy transition), and Gérard Mestrallet (former CEO of energy company Engie) […]

BREXIT: The mother of all uncertainties

BREXIT: The mother of all uncertainties

A Note from Paul Ekins Director of UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London & Chairman of Green Budget Europe Advisory Committee     So the British people have voted by a margin of around 4%, a little more than 1 million votes, to leave the European Union (EU). Where this will lead lies somewhere between two absolutely contrasting scenarios. On the positive side, we can imagine that the […]