European Environmental Bureau demands environmental fiscal reform

A 10 per cent shift of tax revenues from labour taxes to environmental taxes by 2010 is the key demand of an EEB campaign on fiscal reform. During the EEB’s annual conference on 10 October, German Bundestag Member Ernst von Weizsäcker and former environment commissioner Yannis Paleocrasses gave their support to this European campaign

In a position paper presented during their annual conference on 10 October, the EEB put forward five key demands:

  • at EU and national level, a 10 per cent shift of total tax revenues from labour to environmental taxes by 2010;
  • the removal or reform of all environmentally adverse subsidies by 2005;
  • accompanying measures to address any potential social impact of the taxation reform;
  • energy saving and efficiency policies;
  • fiscal incentives for environmental protection.

 

At the press conference of this conference,UK Environment Minister Michael Meacherexpressed his support for the objectives of the campaign, but underlined that his country will stick to fiscal subsidiarity.

 

Since 1997, the EU has been discussing the so-called "Monti proposal" for the introduction of an EU-wide energy tax. During the last ECOFIN Council on 8 October, the finance ministers reached an agreement on the definition of energy-intensive businesses, with three outstanding issues still to be discussed in the Working Party on Tax Questions.

 

The ECOFIN Council on 5 November will try to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues of the Monti proposal.

 

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