Heyday of EU green taxation "has passed"

Eurostat forecasts that high oil prices plus new instruments like emission trading will depress environmental taxation

Environmental taxation may have peaked in Europe, according to a new survey by the EU statistical agency Eurostat. But it suggests this could be more to do with changing fashions in instruments for environmental protection rather than falling interest in environmental protection itself.

Eurostat's latest annual review of tax structures in the EU reports on trends to 2003, for the first time including the full EU-25. Its headline findings are that environmental taxes accounted for 7.5% of all taxation in 2003 and 2.9% of GDP. Both ratios have declined slightly since 2000, it notes.

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