Ecological Tax Reform

A Policy Proposal for Sustainable Development

Ernst U. von Weizsacker and Jochen Jesinghaus

Ecological Tax Reform

Ernst U. von Weizsacker and Jochen Jesinghaus

Distributed for Zed Books

96 pages | 5.4375 x 8.5 | © 1992  
Cloth $63.95 ISBN: 9781856490955 Published July 1992 For sale in North and South America only

1. Introduction: The Crisis Runs Deeper Thank We Think

2. Increasing the Productivity of Natural Resources and Energy

3. Economic Instruments of Environmental Policy

Tradeable Permits

Special Charges

Ecological Tax Reform

Cutting Subsidies

4. The Polluter Pays Principle and External Costs

5. The Importance of Price Elasticity

6. Price Elasticity for Fuels: A New Measurement Concept

Elasticity in the Past 

A ‘Retro-Prognosis’ 

Valid for the Future?

7. What Would Happen if There Were a Significant Annual Increase in Fuel Prices?

Extrapolation from the Empirically Derived Elasticity of Macro-economic Fuel Efficiency

A System Dynamics Simulation

The Possibility of Even More Dramatic Changes

8. Objections and Obstacles to Ecological Tax Reform

The Fiscal Policy Objection: The Conflicting goals of yield vs. steering effect

The Social Policy Objections: ‘Green taxes aren’t fair’

The Environmental Policy Objections: ‘Revenues should be purpose-linked’

The Economic Policy Objection: ‘Ecological taxes are a burden on the economy’

The Voter Objections: ‘Ecological taxes aren’t popular’

The Effectiveness Objection: ‘There are instruments which work faster and with greater precision than ecological taxes’

The Inertia Objection:  ‘Ecological taxes will throw everything into disorder’

The Harmonisation Objection: ‘Ecological taxes cannot be harmonised within the EC’ 

Objections from the Losers

9. The International Dimension

Industrialised Countries

Developing Countries

10. What Makes Ecological Tax Reform Attractive for the Business World?

Notes and References

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