Taxes on labour to be gradually reduced and replaced by the taxation of CO2 emissions, non-renewable resources, land value gains and financial speculation. Government budgets to support the transition to sustainable societies and economies.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, our increasing dependence on a carbon-based economy has meant that a growing economy brings us ever closer to irreversible tipping-points of climate chaos and ecosystem destruction. Yet, there is another way where our prosperity does not have to come at the expense of future generations.
Instead, economic incentives must be used by policy-makers to promote environmentally beneficial activities. By internalising the cost of harmful externalities, prices ought to reflect the ‘true cost’ of our economic activities and be used to promote sustainable wealth creation.
As part of a green tax shift, one available tool is a carbon tax – an ‘ecotax’ which raises the cost of fossil fuel consumption and sends a price signal that reflects the real damage fossil fuels cause to our environment and aims to lower emissions as well as encouraging investment in renewable sources of energy.
The revenue raised from these so-called ‘smarter’ taxes can instead be used to lower other, more burdensome, taxes such as that on income. This green tax ‘shift’ towards more environmentally-beneficial activities is described as ‘revenue-neutral’ when the increase and decrease in taxes are balanced out. Some suggest that such a shift can disproportionately impact lower income groups, but, measures are available to policy-makers to counter this where needed.
The IMF has estimated that green taxes as described above, could lead to a 23% reduction in global carbon emissions as well as a prevention of 63% of fossil fuel pollution-related deaths once implemented! Green tax shifts will encourage not only our transition to 100% renewable energies but also mean that our economic activities will secure, and not destroy, our health and environment.
Implementing sustainable solutions by green tax shift and budgeting contributes to the progression of our interconnected global movements.
The World Future Council invites you to join us as a voice for future generations. The ‘Global Pact’ aims to build an effective ‘Coalition of the Working’ based on our common values in an effort to move from competition to collaboration, individualism to holism, all in the aim of securing our shared future through mutual successes.
Green Budget Europe is a Brussels-based non-profit expert platform on environmental fiscal reform. Their aim is to promote environmental fiscal reform (EFR) and the intelligent use of market-based instruments to accommodate environmental goals and economic efficiency in order to ensure that Europe in the 21st century is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
A Europe-wide expert platform includes renowned academics and researchers, policy-makers and ministry staff, prominent politicians, several former EU Commissioners, as well as representatives from civil society organisations and businesses. They aim to achieve our goals through knowledge-exchange and information-sharing and a combination of research and advocacy work at EU level and within EU Member States.
In addition, GBE looks beyond the EU, facilitating information exchange and international dialogue worldwide, and offer consultancy and capacity building on environmental fiscal reform in developing and emerging economies.
GBE works to foster a broad-based, cross-party consensus in favour of environmental fiscal reform with the support of a wide range of stakeholders.
The Monetary Cost of the Non-Use of Renewable Energies
It is often claimed that renewables are still too costly and not yet competitive with conventional energy sources. But what costs are incurred when renewable energies are not used? Every day during which potential renewable energy sources are not utilised but exhaustible fossil fuels burnt instead speeds up the depletion of these non-renewable fuels. This study concludes that, estimated conservatively, the future usage loss resulting from our current oil, gas and coal consumption is between 3.2 and 3.4 trillion US Dollars per year.