On 15 January 2019, the European Commission published a Communication proposing a gradual shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting (QMV) in the field of taxation. So far, this initiative has been widely overlooked, despite its potential significant impacts on EU decision-making. As stated in the Communication, taxation is the last EU policy area where decision-making exclusively relies on unanimity. During the past 30 years, decision-making procedures in other areas […]
Green Budget Europe (GBE), the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), the Ex’Tax Project Foundation (Ex’Tax) and the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) have published the final report of a one-year project, which looked at fiscal and other incentives to promote circular economy objectives in Finland. The following measures were included in the scenario, which was modelled by Cambridge Econometrics: Air pollution: A carbon floor price; Fossil fuels: Removal of the […]
The recent “yellow vest” movement in France has pointed out the need to look into social equity concerns when introducing new fiscal measures, which aim to promote sustainability and low-carbon alternatives in our economies. This aspect has been underestimated during the past years when policies on resource efficiency and circularity have been devised. We need to reconsider our approach to ensure that if and when proposals on market-based instruments and […]
Our vision is of a fairer, more just society, where polluters pay now, instead of leaving future generations to pick up the bill, and of a competitive, prosperous EU which leads the world in innovative and pioneering technologies.
“Climate change is a result of the greatest market failure that the world has seen.” Sir Nicolas Stern
The failure to adequately price pollution and resource-use is the key factor in many of the environmental and climate problems we see today.
Green Budget Europe (GBE) promotes the use of Environmental Fiscal Reform (EFR) in order to bring tax and spending into line with environmental goals. By means of green taxes, emissions trading, reform of harmful subsidies, green public procurement, border tax adjustments, deposit-refund schemes and promotion of renewable energy, we aim at increasing the price of pollution and environmental damage and correcting market distortions.
Green taxes and a reform of environmentally harmful subsidies are ideal policy approaches because they make prices tell the ecological truth. Consequently, GBE recognises the importance of more tax on pollution accompanied by reduced labour taxes. We believe this reform process – frequently referred to as a Green Tax Shift – should be done in a socially equitable way.
Key to our work is the idea that if fiscal policy is not in line with environmental objectives, inefficiencies arise which slow the green economy transition and increase its overall cost. Misaligned fiscal policy also leads to false price signals which incentivise pollution, inefficient resource-use and the erosion of natural capital. If false price signals are not corrected, market forces work to keep the economy on an unsustainable growth path.
GBE’s objectives can be summarised as follows:
- Creating the framework conditions necessary to achieve a transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon and climate resilient economy;
- Fostering the efficient and cost-effective implementation of EU climate and environment policy (Environmental Fiscal Reform instruments are the most effective);
- Improving the enforcement of EU environment and climate action legislation;
- Supporting the implementation of the EU’s 7th Environment Action Programme and Europe 2020 Strategy.