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Design of climate tax on food consumption


  • Gren, Ing-Marie

    () (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

  • Moberg, Emma

    (Department of Energy and Technology)

  • Röös, Elin

    (Department of Energy and Technology)

  • Säll, Sarah

    (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

  • Andersson, Julius

    (London School of Economics)


This study examines appropriate design of climate taxes on consumption of food by constructing a simple theoretical model and exemplify the results on climate taxes on consumption of tomatoes and beef in Sweden. The theoretical results showed that i) existing taxes on greenhouse gases (GHG) should be considered to avoid double taxation, ii) taxes need to be differentiated between GHG (carbon dioxide, CO2, methane, CH4, and nitrous oxide, N2O, in present study) because of their different climate impact, and iii) suggested tax levels on GHG in the literature rest on quite different approaches to climate management. The calculations of climate taxes on tomatoes and beef in Sweden indicated considerable differences in the tax level depending on calculation method. The commonly applied suggestion of taxing carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) and disregard existing taxes on GHG emission results in a tax that is five times the appropriate tax for tomatoes and 2.5 times that for beef. The price increases on consumption of food due to a climate tax can thus show large variation depending on tax calculation method.

Suggested Citation

  • Gren, Ing-Marie & Moberg, Emma & Röös, Elin & Säll, Sarah & Andersson, Julius, 2017. "Design of climate tax on food consumption," Working Paper Series 2017:2, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:slueko:2017_002

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    More about this item


    climate tax on food; different GHG; double-taxation; tomatoes; beef; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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