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Emission trading schemes: potential revenue effects, compliance costs and overall tax policy issues

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  • Pope, Jeff
  • Owen, Anthony D.
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    Abstract

    The case for the imposition of carbon (emission) taxes or tradable carbon permits in important tax jurisdictions is arguably strong, based upon the polluter pays principle first proposed by Pigou almost a century ago. This paper briefly reviews the arguments for and against these market-based instruments, and discusses their relative advantages and disadvantages in a practical context. In the case of Australia, the revenue effect of the proposed tradable carbon permits scheme is estimated to be A$11.5 billion in 2010-11. For comparison, this is roughly equivalent to a quarter of the revenue from the Goods and Services Tax. The paper focuses on three neglected aspects of climate change taxation discussion to date: how much tax revenue is likely to be raised, and the administrative and compliance costs of an emissions trading scheme, with particular reference to Australia. In discussing these issues, the paper draws upon selected and relevant international experience, particularly the European Union emissions trading scheme. The challenges of an emissions trading scheme, including integration with the existing tax system, particularly in an Australian context, are also discussed. The paper concludes by emphasising the key challenges and issues facing this 'ultimate externality' debate, particularly from a taxation policy perspective.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 4595-4603

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:11:p:4595-4603

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    Keywords: Taxation Carbon Emissions;

    References

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    1. Brannlund, Runar & Nordstrom, Jonas, 2004. "Carbon tax simulations using a household demand model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 211-233, February.
    2. Aldy, Joseph E. & Ley, Eduardo & Parry, Ian, 2008. "A Tax–Based Approach to Slowing Global Climate Change," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(3), pages 493-517, September.
    3. Sjak Smulders & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 1999. "Green Taxes and Administrative Costs: The Case of Carbon Taxation," NBER Working Papers 7298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
    5. Wier, Mette & Birr-Pedersen, Katja & Jacobsen, Henrik Klinge & Klok, Jacob, 2005. "Are CO2 taxes regressive? Evidence from the Danish experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 239-251, January.
    6. Peter Hoeller & Markku Wallin, 1991. "Energy Prices, Taxes and Carbon Dioxide Emissions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 106, OECD Publishing.
    7. Philippe Quirion, 2005. "Prices vs Quantities in a Second-best Setting," Post-Print halshs-00009890, HAL.
    8. Tim Callan & Sean Lyons & Sue Scott & Richard S. J. Tol & Stefano Verde, 2008. "The Distributional Implications of a Carbon Tax in Ireland," Papers WP250, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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    Cited by:
    1. Schmidt, Johannes & Leduc, Sylvain & Dotzauer, Erik & Schmid, Erwin, 2011. "Cost-effective policy instruments for greenhouse gas emission reduction and fossil fuel substitution through bioenergy production in Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3261-3280, June.

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