Chapter

Introduction to the Issues and the Book

Paul Ekins

in Environmental Tax Reform (ETR)

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584505
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725012 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584505.003.0001

Series: Creating Sustainable Growth In Europe

Introduction to the Issues and the Book

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This chapter sets the scene for the book as a whole. It presents the arguments on the urgent need to achieve absolute decoupling of economic growth and performance from environmental impact; the policies that can be used to achieve decoupling and improve the environment; and the contribution that the environment and economic growth make to human well-being. The chapter introduces the concept of environmental tax reform (ETR)—a policy for the reform of the national tax system, whereby the burden of taxes is shifted from conventional taxes, such as those levied on labour and capital (‘goods’), to taxes on environmentally related activities that involve resource use, particularly energy, or environmental pollution (‘bads’). It then discusses why it is likely that relative prices, and therefore ETR, have an essential role to play in achieving absolute decoupling. It then outlines the structure of the book and the main themes of the chapters that follow.

Keywords: decoupling; well-being; taxes; environmental pollution; energy

Chapter.  8805 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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