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Environmental Tax Reform - Insights from a biodiversity protection perspective

Environmental Tax Reform - Insights from a biodiversity protection perspective

29 October 2010

A gradual shift of today’s taxes away from personal income and capital- and towards taxes on consumption, pollution, and inefficient use of energy and resources can boost employment, eco-innovation and protect the environment. In this context, biodiversity protection also plays an important role. Building on previous work related to the use of market-based instruments in the field of nature conservation at the EU and global levels, Sandra Naumann gave a presentation on “Preserving Biodiversity with Market Incentives” at the “Environmental Tax Reform - learning from the past, and inventing the future” conference in Dublin, Ireland. The focus on her presentation was the success or failure of these instruments and their potential for further use in the future.

The conference brought together policy-makers, experts, stakeholders and the general public to explore the contribution that taxation can make to sustainable development and how it can promote policy objectives, especially within environment and energy. Special emphasis was placed on providing options to tackle the financial crisis and to bring attention to the virtues of environmental taxes as a source of revenue.

The wide range of presentations included topics such as ‘Transport and Road Pricing in Stockholm’ (Gunnar Söderholm, Director, Environment and Health Administration in Stockholm), ‘Environmental Tax Reform and the Financial Crisis’ (Prof. Paul Ekins, University College London), ‘Experiences with Land Value Taxation in the USA’ (Stephen Reed, Mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) and ‘Environmentally Harmful Subsidies’ (Jean-Philippe Barde, former Head of the National Policies Division, OECD). The conference was organised by the Comhar Sustainable Development Council in cooperation with the European Environment Agency, UCD Earth Sciences Institute, Smart Taxes and Feasta and concluded with a panel discussion which summarised opportunities on how to better re-direct environmental tax reform in the future.

Further Links:

Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Comhar Sustainable Development Council, Ireland {Republic}
University College Dublin, Earth Institute, Ireland {Republic}
Feasta, Ireland {Republic}
29 October 2010
Dublin, Ireland
Environmental tax reform, taxes, biodiversity, nature protection, market-based incentives, financial crisis, Europe