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Green taxes and subsidies boom in Sweden

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Environmental taxes in Sweden have increased by 34 percent between 2000 and 2009 while environmentally motivated subsidies have doubled, the statistics office said Wednesday.

Economic instruments for the environment are used as a part of Sweden's environmental policy. Examples are taxes on energy use and emissions, emission permits and payments for measures to improve the environment.

Income from environmental taxes amounted to roughly 83 billion kronor ($12 billion) in 2009. Most of the environmental taxes are energy-related.

Payments of environmentally motivated subsidies have increased by 50 percent during the period from 2000 to 2009. These payments amounted to nearly 9 billion kronor in 2009.

Resource-related subsidies comprise the largest part of these payments, followed by environmentally related aid and energy related subsidies. The largest recipients in 2009 were the agricultural sector, international recipients and the public sector.

Environmentally related taxes and environmentally motivated subsidies in SEK billions, 2000-2009
Source: Statistics Sweden

Emission permits for carbon dioxide emissions are a relatively new type of economic instrument. The value of the allocated emission permits has varied between almost 4.5 billion kronor in 2005 to roughly 3 billion in 2009. The reason for the decrease is because the price for carbon dioxide emissions has been lower in recent years. The steel industry has received the largest allocation, followed by the energy sector. Carbon dioxide emissions from sea transport and air transport are not included in the system for emission permits or environmental taxes.

The potentially environmentally harmful subsidies were on about the same level as the environmentally justified subsidies in 2007, roughly 9 billion kronor. The agricultural sector is the largest recipient of potentially environmentally harmful subsidies in the form of support to single farms and livestock aid, followed by the transport sector.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 29 December 2010 12:18)


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