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Overview of carbon related taxation in OECD countries Presentation at the AFDC 2010 Biennial Forum on Fiscal and Financial Policies for Low-carbon Economic Development Shanghai, P.R. China 26 Novem ber 2010. Nils Axel Braathen OECD, Environment Directorate Nils-Axel.Braathen@oecd.org.

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nils axel braathen oecd environment directorate nils axel braathen@oecd org

Overview of carbon related taxation in OECD countriesPresentation at the AFDC 2010 Biennial Forum on Fiscal and Financial Policies for Low-carbon Economic DevelopmentShanghai, P.R. China26 November 2010

Nils Axel Braathen

OECD, Environment Directorate

Nils-Axel.Braathen@oecd.org

introduction
Introduction
  • In October 2010, OECD published the book Taxation, Innovation and the Environment …
  • …. to a large extent built on a number of ex post studies of the innovation impacts of selected environmental policies …
  • … but also includes an updated overview of the use of environmentally related taxes in OECD countries ...
  • … and a ‘user’s guide’ for policy makers on how to implement such taxes.
  • This presentation will focus on the information regarding carbon-related taxes in this book and related OECD work.
why have revenues decreased in per cent of gdp in recent years
Why have revenues decreased in per cent of GDP in recent years?
  • This is closely linked to the increase in world crude oil prices since year 2000.
  • This price increase has contributed to people substituting away from motor fuel use, towards other goods and services.
  • In short: Price signals work!
  • As motor fuels often are (much) more taxed than other goods and services, revenues from environmentally related taxes decrease in per cent of GDP.
  • The high motor fuel prices may also have made it politically difficult for countries to increase nominal tax rates in line with inflation.
  • Hence, for example, the real tax rate on petrol decreased 8% between 2000 and 2010.
tax rates on petrol and diesel i
Tax rates on petrol and diesel (I)
  • By far the highest rate of tax on petrol in the OECD, and the second highest rate on diesel, are levied in Turkey, one of the OECD countries with the lowest income per capita.
  • If the motor fuel taxes had been levied only to address greenhouse gas emissions, a tax rate of 0.6€ per litre petrol would correspond to a “carbon tax” of 256€ per tonne CO2emitted.
  • However, in practice, the taxes on petrol and diesel are of course levied for a number of other reasons, and one should not count all of them as “carbon taxes”.
  • Nevertheless, it is the full rate of tax that will influence the extent to which CO2 will be emitted.
petrol taxes vs diesel taxes ii
Petrol taxes vs. diesel taxes (II)
  • Because diesel-motors are more fuel efficient than petrol-driven motors, diesel-driven vehicles emit less CO2 per km driven than what petrol-driven vehicles does.
  • However, this is not a valid argument for setting tax rates on diesel lower than tax rates on petrol – because the drivers benefit directly from this fuel efficiency advantage (the benefits are fullyinternalised).
  • One litre diesel causes more CO2 emissions than one litre petrol.
  • And diesel-driven vehicles cause more harmful emissions of NOx, particle matter (PM10, PM2.5) and noise than petrol-driven ones.
  • Petrol-driven vehicles cause larger VOC emissions.
  • None of these impacts are internalised – the drivers do not take these impacts into account in their decisions.
  • All in all, from an environmental perspective, tax rates per litre diesel ought to be higher than tax rates per litre petrol – not lower.
slide12
Tax rates per tonne CO2 emitted implicit in the excise tax rates on selected fossil fuels01.01.2010
co 2 related tax rate differentiation in motor vehicle taxes
CO2-related tax rate differentiation in motor vehicle taxes
  • A number of countries have introduced CO2-related tax rate differentiation in taxes on motor vehicles:
    • Based directly on estimated CO2 emissions or on fuel efficiency.
    • In one-off and/or in recurrent taxes.
      • One-off: taxes per vehicle at purchase
      • Recurrent: taxes e.g. per year, to be allowed to use a vehicle
    • Some countries apply different rates for petrol- and diesel-driven cars.
    • In some countries, the differentiation depend on the vehicle price.
    • France has special rates for company-owned cars.
  • The following slides will show how tax rates per tonne CO2 emitted over the lifetime of a vehicle can be calculated.
slide14
One-off tax per vehicle as a function of CO2 emissions per km drivenPetrol-driven vehicles, 01.01.2010
slide15
Tax per year as a function of the vehicles’ CO2 emissions per km drivenPetrol-driven vehicles, 01.01.2010
calculating tax per tonne co 2 emitted over a vehicle s lifetime
Calculating tax per tonne CO2 emitted over a vehicle’s lifetime
  • Assume that a vehicle is driven 200,000 km over its lifetime.
  • For the recurrent taxes, assume that the lifetime is 15 years.
  • Calculating lifetime emissions:
    • Gram CO2 per km * 0.2 = tonne CO2 emitted over the lifetime
    • 180 g CO2 per km * 0.2 = 36 tonnes CO2 emitted over the lifetime
  • One-off taxes for a vehicle emitting 180 g CO2 per km:
    • If the tax is 7200€ per vehicle => (7200 / 36) = 200 € per tonne CO2
  • Recurrent taxes for a vehicle emitting 180 g CO2 per km:
    • If the tax is 540€ per year => (540 / 36) * 15 = 225 € per tonne CO2
    • (The amount would be lower, if discounting of future tax payments was taken into account.)
slide17

CO2-related tax rate differentiation in one-off motor vehicle taxes € per tonne CO2 emitted over the vehicle lifetime, petrol-driven vehicles

slide18

CO2-related tax rate differentiation in recurrent motor vehicle taxes € per tonne CO2 emitted over the vehicle lifetime, petrol-driven vehicles

slide19
Tax per tonne CO2 emitted over a vehicle’s lifetime, selected emission levels per kmPetrol-driven vehicles, 01.01.2010
the case for co 2 related differentiation of motor vehicle taxes i
The case for CO2-related differentiation of motor vehicle taxes I
  • In a “perfect world”, one can question the need for CO2-related differentiation of motor vehicle taxes.
  • As there is a direct link between the carbon content in the motor fuels used and the CO2 emissions of a given vehicle, it could be more efficient to just apply a tax reflecting the carbon content of different fuels.
  • Differentiation of a tax on vehicle purchases only affect (directly) the decisions of those that buy a new vehicle – and it has no (or little) impact on how much the vehicles are used.
  • Differentiation of recurrent vehicle taxes can affect the decision to continue to own both new and old vehicles – but will also have no (or little) impact on how much the vehicles are used.
the case for co 2 related differentiation of motor vehicle taxes ii
The case for CO2-related differentiation of motor vehicle taxes II
  • However, the world is not quite perfect.
  • It is e.g. possible that consumers are “myopic” – i.e. that they don’t take future fuel consumption much into account when buying a new car.
  • It can also be “politically easier” to introduce a (possibly revenue-neutral) CO2-differentiation in vehicle taxes than to introduce (only) “sufficiently high” motor fuels taxes.
  • However, the degree of differentiation of vehicle taxes applied in some countries can seem out of proportion to the CO2 abatement incentives provided elsewhere in the economies.
more information
More information
  • www.oecd.org/env/policies/database
  • www.oecd.org/env/taxes
  • www.oecd.org/env/taxes/innovation
  • www.oecd.org/env/transport
  • Nils-Axel.Braathen@oecd.org