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Thematic session: Air Pollution

This presentation was given at IEEP's capacity building for environmental tax reform conference on 5 October 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. Speaker: Andrea Illes

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www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu
Thematic session: Air
pollution
Andrea Illes, IEEP
5 October 2017, Committee of the Regions,
Rue Belliard 99/101, Brussels
Final conference: Capacity building for environmental
tax reform
www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu
Air pollution: issues & challenges
• Significant impacts on:
‒ Environment: e.g. destruction to ecosystems and excessive nutrients
‒ Human health: in EU around 400,000 people die prematurely each
year due to poor air quality (EEA, 2015)
‒ Economy: high costs of welfare loss due to health impacts – estimated
€ 330-940 billion loss in the EU (EC, 2013)
• Main pollutants include: PM, NOx, SOx, O3, VOC, NH3
• Transboundary nature of air pollution
• Problems with both stationary and mobile emissions
• Challenges in cities
• Various pieces of EU legislation targeting emissions
www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu
Air pollution: instruments used
• Taxes and charges on the various types of air pollutant
substances
• Air pollution non-compliance fees
• Instruments targeting non-stationary emissions
‒ Vehicle registration and circulation taxes
‒ Transport fuel taxes
‒ Traffic congestion charges
www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu
Air pollution: case studies
Instrument type Member State(s)
Air pollution fees: PM, NOx, SOx Czech Republic, Slovakia
Air pollution load charge (NOx, SOx, non-
toxic dust)
Hungary
NOx fee and SO2 tax Sweden
Tax on fluorinated GHG Spain
www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu
Air pollution: rates and revenues
• Differences in the rates applied
‒ Low level of rates in Slovakia and Hungary
‒ Initially low level of rates in Czech Republic but revision in 2012
‒ High level of rates in Sweden
• Use of revenues
‒ Reimbursement system in Sweden and Czech Republic
‒ State Environmental Fund in Slovakia and Czech Republic
‒ Feeds into general state budget in Hungary
www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu
Air pollution: effectiveness & efficiency
• Effectiveness and impact of the instruments
‒ Dramatic decline in SO2 and NOx emissions in Sweden (but wider
policy context)
‒ In addition, NOx fee had impacts on innovation in Sweden
‒ Little incentive and also no data/lack of capacity to analyse impacts in
Hungary and Slovakia
• Monitoring and evaluation
‒ Evaluation of Czech fee in 2012
‒ Mandatory continuous monitoring of NOx emissions from the
regulated plants in Sweden

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Thematic session: Air Pollution

  • 1. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Thematic session: Air pollution Andrea Illes, IEEP 5 October 2017, Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 99/101, Brussels Final conference: Capacity building for environmental tax reform
  • 2. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: issues & challenges • Significant impacts on: ‒ Environment: e.g. destruction to ecosystems and excessive nutrients ‒ Human health: in EU around 400,000 people die prematurely each year due to poor air quality (EEA, 2015) ‒ Economy: high costs of welfare loss due to health impacts – estimated € 330-940 billion loss in the EU (EC, 2013) • Main pollutants include: PM, NOx, SOx, O3, VOC, NH3 • Transboundary nature of air pollution • Problems with both stationary and mobile emissions • Challenges in cities • Various pieces of EU legislation targeting emissions
  • 3. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: instruments used • Taxes and charges on the various types of air pollutant substances • Air pollution non-compliance fees • Instruments targeting non-stationary emissions ‒ Vehicle registration and circulation taxes ‒ Transport fuel taxes ‒ Traffic congestion charges
  • 4. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: case studies Instrument type Member State(s) Air pollution fees: PM, NOx, SOx Czech Republic, Slovakia Air pollution load charge (NOx, SOx, non- toxic dust) Hungary NOx fee and SO2 tax Sweden Tax on fluorinated GHG Spain
  • 5. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: rates and revenues • Differences in the rates applied ‒ Low level of rates in Slovakia and Hungary ‒ Initially low level of rates in Czech Republic but revision in 2012 ‒ High level of rates in Sweden • Use of revenues ‒ Reimbursement system in Sweden and Czech Republic ‒ State Environmental Fund in Slovakia and Czech Republic ‒ Feeds into general state budget in Hungary
  • 6. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: effectiveness & efficiency • Effectiveness and impact of the instruments ‒ Dramatic decline in SO2 and NOx emissions in Sweden (but wider policy context) ‒ In addition, NOx fee had impacts on innovation in Sweden ‒ Little incentive and also no data/lack of capacity to analyse impacts in Hungary and Slovakia • Monitoring and evaluation ‒ Evaluation of Czech fee in 2012 ‒ Mandatory continuous monitoring of NOx emissions from the regulated plants in Sweden
  • 7. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: stakeholder engagement
  • 8. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Air pollution: the way forward • Civil society / stakeholders are already active in the policy formulation phase but even more could be done ‒ Greater use of Environmental Tax Committees ‒ More awareness raising ‒ Use of ex ante assessments ‒ Greater emphasis on human health ‒ Better understanding of EHS and its links to environmental taxes • Smaller role in other phases of the policy cycle ‒ Policy implementation: consultation on revenue management ‒ Monitoring: greater involvement of industry ‒ Evaluation: engaging with civil society and academia / name and shame & name and fame
  • 9. www.ieep.eu @IEEP_eu Case study presentations Case study : Spain Tax on fluorinated greenhouse gases Ignasi Puig Ventosa, ENT Environment and Management

Editor's Notes

  1. Sources: heating (PM), industrial processes (SO2, PM, NOx), road transport (PM, NOx), indirectly (O3) EU legislation: Industrial Emissions Directive (previously IPPC), Directive on Medium Combustion Plants 2013: Clean Air policy Package – introduced PM limits to National Emission Ceilings Directive (by 2030: Sox -79%, Nox: -63%, VOC: - 40%, NH3: -19%, PM: -49%)
  2. Focus of this work is solely on stationary emissions
  3. 5 case studies in total Workshop focused on the CEE region and provided further insights into Poland, Romania and Slovenia
  4. Rates: CZ: realisation that the fee is ineffective – 2012 evaluation  increase in rates (progressively) plus reduction of the number of targeted pollutants (9  4) SE: high rates could be applied as political and environmental context was right (establishment of Env Tax Commission (1989), high environmental awareness due to acidification, role of CO2 tax, need for tax shift) Revenues: SE: Revenues from the Swedish NOx fee are fully reimbursed (minus administrative costs) to the group of taxed plants based on their energy efficiency. The economic incentive motivates the regulated plants to achieve minimal NOx emissions instead of aiming to be just below the limit values – the limit values give a ceiling for emissions while the tax gives additional economic incentives for further reductions. CZ: the 2012 revision of the Czech air pollution fee reduces the fee paid by businesses that achieve lower emission levels compared to best available technologies (BAT) emission concentrations. CZ: in the Czech Republic from 2017, 65% of revenues will be allocated to the State Environmental Fund, 25% of revenues will be allocated to the region where the source of pollution is located (and only used to finance measures for environmental protection) and 10% of revenues will be allocated to the state budget (and only be used to finance Ministry-organised activities related to air pollution). Reason of introduction: Fiscal consideration (CZ, SK, HU) Change in political context plus environmental awareness raising (SE)
  5. Efficiency: SE: Analysis indicates that the SO2 tax and sulphur regulation have contributed to a lowering of the sulphur content in oils, while NOx emissions per unit of useful energy produced by regulated plants have declined by 50% since the introduction of the tax in 1992. These declines began before the taxes and regulations were adopted in anticipation of their introduction. Other factors contributing to the decline in SO2 and NOx emissions in Sweden include CO2 and energy taxes and the introduction of natural gas in Southern Sweden. Analysis indicates that the sulphur tax and regulation have led to more cleaning of emissions from coal and peat (and thereby reimbursements to the companies) and induced technological progress. The NOx fee has also stimulated innovation through the refund system and through a requirement to install monitoring equipment - when the fee was introduced in 1992, 7% of the plants subject to the tax had NOx abatement technologies installed; this increased to 62% the year after and to 72% in 1995. The sulphur tax and NOx fee are considered to have only a minor effect on the competitiveness of affected industries due to the reimbursement system. There are some distributional effects of the NOx fee between different industries as some industries have higher abatement costs, higher emissions and therefore pay a higher net fee than other industries that might have a net benefit from the tax and reimbursement mechanism.
  6. These examples are drawn from both the case studies undertaken by the project team (in black text), and the experiences shared by stakeholders who attended the project workshop in Budapest (in blue text). Few highlights: SE: Very collaborative process – Env Tax Com., broad public consultation, reimbursement mechanism, mandatory monitoring, evaluations CZ: engagement in the evaluation process HU: role of NGO in the policy formulation part SK: influence of industry through informal discussions