Double Dividend Environmental Taxation and Canadian Carbon Emissions Control
Author: McKitrick, Ross.
Summary: This paper reviews the debate on the double dividend hypothesis and presents empirical evidence to suggest that the double dividend approach can significantly reduce the costs of CO2 emissions control in Canada and possibly eliminate aggregate welfare and output reductions due to implementation of a carbon tax.
Relevance: This is a fairly technical paper. However, it is one of the only studies that has explored the possibility of a double dividend in the context of carbon taxes in Canada.
Encouraging Environmentally Sustainable Growth in Canada
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Summary: In this paper, the OECD reflects on Canada’s use of tax incentives related to non-renewable resources, as well as the use of voluntary agreements in Canada. The author evaluates Canada’s progress in reaching environmental objectives related to water, Atlantic fisheries, toxins, air pollution and climate change. The report includes several recommendations for areas in which increased use of fiscally oriented policies could benefit the environment.
Relevance: This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of Canada’s progress towards environmental sustainability. It concludes that Canada is lagging behind other countries in the move towards sustainability, and that there is substantial scope in Canada for increasing the use of economic instruments to achieve environmental objectives. One of the main conclusions of the author is that greater reliance on price signals will be needed to put Canada on a more sustainable growth path.
Environmental Tax Shift: A Discussion Paper for British Columbians
Author: Taylor, Amy, Mark Jaccard, and Nancy Olewiler.
Summary: This is a discussion paper on environmental tax shifting that was commissioned by the B.C. Ministry of Finance. It describes what environmental tax shifting is and the rationale for its implementation. It describes the benefits and challenges of environmental tax shifting and presents several examples of environmental tax shift policies that have been implemented in various jurisdictions. Examples of policies that could be implemented in British Columbia are identified, but no analysis or recommendations are presented.
Relevance: This paper represents some of the only work that has been done specifically on environmental tax shifting in Canada at a government level.
Environmental Taxes: Recent Developments in Tools for Integration
Author: European Environment Agency (EEA).
Summary: The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the use and implementation of environmental taxes in Europe. It briefly sets out the rationale for environmental taxes and identifies the environmental themes towards which they are directed. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of the environmental taxes from an environmental point of view. As well, it describes how to overcome barriers, such as impacts on low-income earners and competitiveness.
Relevance: This paper provides a good summary of environmental taxation initiatives in European countries. This is one of the few evaluations of the environmental effectiveness of environmental taxes that has been done. It provides a good cross-country comparison of the use of environmental taxes, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the United States.
European Environmental Taxes and Charges: Recent Experience, Issues and Trends
Author: Ekins, Paul.
Summary: This is a survey of the use of environmental taxes and charges in OECD countries. The use of environmental taxes increased by 50% between 1987 and 1994 in OECD countries. Environmental taxes have been pursued on their own or as part of a systematic shift in taxes away from labour and onto the use of environmental resources. A number of ways of mitigating impacts on competitiveness and low-income earners exist and have been implemented.
Relevance: This paper provides the results of a recent survey of environmental taxes and charges in OECD countries. There is also a good discussion of the options for mitigating negative impacts of environmental taxes. In addition, this paper is useful for people who want background information on environmental taxes. Specifically, the paper includes a discussion of the rationale for environmental taxes and types of environmental taxes.
Green Budget Reform: An International Casebook of Leading Practices
Author: Gale, Robert, Stephan Barg, and Alexander Gillies.
Summary: This book gives detailed examples of taxation and subsidy measures that were developed in order to achieve specific results. It shows how governments have met some of the challenges of integrating environmental and economic issues in developing tools that fit their needs. Examples are from various sectors, including: energy and automotive; agriculture; air and water; waste management; and environmental and development policy. Examples from numerous countries are described, including Canada, the United States, Australia, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Relevance: The book provides a great, easy-to-read summary of each of these policies, including the impetus for the policy and the details of the policy development. Several of the examples are Canadian.
Greening the Budget: Budgetary Policies for Environmental Improvement
Author: Clinch, J. Peter, Kai Schlegelmilch, Rolf-Ulrich Sprenger, and Ursula Triebswetter.
Summary: This book is based on the work of a European research network called Concerted Action on Market Based Instruments, funded by the European Union. The focus of the book is on the use of budgets as instruments of environmental policy. It examines the elements of the public budget that affect the environment and explores the scope for greening both the revenue and expenditure side.
Relevance: Topics include: environmentally damaging subsidies, the introduction of new green taxes following the polluter pay principle, and the issue of public purchasing and green procurement.
Greening the Golden State: A Tax Reform for California’s Future
Author: Hammond, Jeff, Gary Wolff, Clifford Cobb, and Mark Frame.
Summary: This book provides several illustrations of what environmental tax shifting could look like in the state of California. It describes various taxes or fees that could be reduced as part of a revenue-neutral environmental tax shift. Taxes discussed include personal and corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes. Also, a number of different options for replacement fees/taxes that could be implemented or increased are presented. These include energy, electricity, air pollution, water pollution, toxic waste, transportation and parking, land use, solid waste and water use.
Relevance: This book provides background information on issues of regressivity and revenue neutrality.
Harnessing the Tax Code for Environmental Protection
Author: Hoerner, J. Andrew.
Summary: This is a survey of state-level environmental taxation, subsidy and credit initiatives in the United States. The study lists the most important rationales for state environmental tax provisions, illustrating them with examples from state practice.
Relevance: This is the most comprehensive survey of state-level initiatives in place in the U.S. This paper is useful for familiarizing readers with trends in the United States. The paper describes the breadth of instruments used.
Toward a Canadian Agenda for Ecological Fiscal Reform: First Steps
Author: National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.
Summary: This report is a summary of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy’s (NRTEE’s) EFR Program Phase 1. The NRTEE’s EFR program was established to gain insight into the key challenges and opportunities related to EFR, and to explore the potential for EFR in Canada. Phase 1 of the program reviewed the international experience with EFR, and initiated three case studies on the potential application of EFR in the Canadian context.
Relevance: This is some of the most substantive work that has been done on ecological fiscal reform in Canada. The NRTEE’s EFR program concluded that there is a role for EFR in Canada, and EFR is uniquely appropriate to the challenge of implementing sustainable development. They also concluded that EFR can offer many benefits over traditional policy instruments, and open new opportunities.