Ecological Tax Reform

A Policy Proposal for Sustainable Development

Ernst Von Weizsacker and Jochen Jesinghaus


A timely and accessible introduction to the strengths and merits of environmental taxes.

Carbon taxes, energy taxes and related measures are gaining increasing popularity around the world, as governments, activists and international bodies seek an effective way of integrating economic and environmental policies. Ecological Tax Reform offers a timely exploration of this key component of the global fight against climate change.

Providing a useful overview of the arguments for and against environmental taxation, the book’s central proposition is that such taxes can play an instrumental role in promoting environmentally friendly industry, as well as raising valuable funds for economic development and state efforts to combat global warming. The authors go on to argue that such taxes could be usefully applied to such diverse economic areas as fossil fuel consumption, nuclear energy, water, raw materials and waste.

Concise and accessible to undergraduates as well as the general reader, Ecological Tax Reform represents the perfect introduction for those seeking to understand the role which taxation can play in achieving a more sustainable society.

Author Bio

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker is a German scientist and politician. He was a member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party, and currently serves as co-president of the Club of Rome, a global environmentalist think tank.

Jochen Jesinghaus writes and researches on environmental policy at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. 

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction: The Crisis Runs Deeper Thank We Think
  • 2. Increasing the Productivity of Natural Resources and Energy
  • 3. Economic Instruments of Environmental Policy
  • 4. The Polluter Pays Principle and External Costs
  • 5. The Importance of Price Elasticity
  • 6. Price Elasticity for Fuels: A New Measurement Concept
  • 7. What Would Happen if There Were a Significant Annual Increase in Fuel Prices?
  • 8. Objections and Obstacles to Ecological Tax Reform
  • 9. The International Dimension
  • 10. What Makes Ecological Tax Reform Attractive for the Business World?
  • Notes and References
  • Index


Publication Date: 1 July 1992
96 pages

Not available in: United States

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781856490962
Library Edition: 9781856490955

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