The Financial Times advises :-
“Environmentalists have had a disappointing year. The Copenhagen talks fizzled and the economic crisis has overshadowed all other considerations. But the need for countries to repair towering fiscal deficits is an opening for the movement. As treasuries look for ways to raise more revenues, climate change activists should make the case for green taxes.”
So, environmental campaigners should be campaigning for green taxes to plug holes in public deficits caused by crashing banks ?
I think not.
Tax revenue that is collected on the basis of environmental pollution should always be hypothecated, committed to remediation and removal of environmental pollution.
The majority of the populations of the deficit-stricken economies (OK, then, the whole world) are quite right in resisting being locked down into extra taxation at present. Green taxes would be a financial tie too tight for most of the world’s economically stressed.
Green taxes spent on things other than green energy and energy efficiency would be a mockery.
Besides which, only very high levels of green taxation would have any impact on pollution behaviour – the “signal” from green taxes would be lost amongst general economic “instability” (that is, price rises due to other factors).