The perception and attitude of business to the environmental tax reform : an Irish case-study

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Title: The perception and attitude of business to the environmental tax reform : an Irish case-study
Authors: Dunne, Louise
Clinch, J. Peter
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/817
Date: 2003
Abstract: Despite the fact that environmental taxes and Environmental Tax Reform (ETR) are accepted to be policies with desirable environmental and other economic effects, their implementation has been patchy. The most common definition of Environmental Tax Reform (ETR) is the use of the revenue from environmental taxes to reduce distortionary labour taxes. Although the EU, OECD and academic economic literature may be strongly in favour of environmental taxation as a fiscal policy, and politicians may be intellectually convinced of its merits, there have been very few research efforts devoted to understanding the roles and priorities of the public, policy-makers, businesses and other stakeholders. This paper explores the perceptions and attitudes of business to ETR and, more specifically, to energy taxation. It reviews the various policy instruments and instrument mix options to reduce carbon ant other emissions. In addition, as it is an important determinant of attitudes to ETR, the attitude of business to the environment generally is examined. The principal methodology is a case study of key businesses in Ireland. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with representatives of the firms at their place of employment. While not necessarily representative of all firms, the results show that, for the firms examined, while they all have internal energy policies, these are driven by financial rather than environmental motivations or the existing policy mix. However, some firms did experience a financial saving directly as a result of compliance with EMAS and integrated pollution control regulation. In addition, most of the environmental awareness of companies comes from compliance with EPA regulations. Raising awareness of environmental issues and problems is generally considered to be a prerequisite of changes or improvements in environmental practice and performance and willingness to accept environmental economic instruments such as taxes and charges. Perhaps surprisingly, companies were relatively more enthusiastic about energy taxes if , rather than recycling to reducing labour, the revenues were used to promote energy efficiency, subsidies for renewable energy and environmental education. However, this result is consistent with the attitudes of the general public.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: Fondazione Lanza
Subject LCSH: Environmental impact charges--Economic aspects
Energy tax
Executives--Attitudes
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Paper published in the proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Ethics and Environmental Policies : Business Styles And Sustainable Development, Kiev, April 2 - 6, 2003
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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