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.