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Dear friends of GBE,

Europe's EFR performance is far from meeting needs if the Paris agreement and SDGs are to be reached. But at least there are some small steps in the right direction: the EU has urged Spain to increase green taxation. According to EU-COM's Environmental Implementation Review, this is one of the three main challenges facing Spain. The German environmental agency even made concrete proposals for higher green taxes. It asked the government to reduce VAT exemptions for meat and milk and other environmental harmful subsidies.

To be able to continue its work on EFR in Europe, GBE gratefully accepts all donations (KBC Bank  IBAN BE11 7340 4025 8948  BIC KREDBEBB or by emailing Bridget Farrell at We are also looking for a new Office Manager.

Green Budget Europe's latest reports


Towards a sustainability-oriented Energy Union

An assessment of Member States’ Country factsheets by national experts.

Download report here.


63 policy makers, leading academics, businesses and civil society call for an innovative reform of the EU budget

Ahead of the presentation of the final report of the High-Level Group on Own Resources chaired by Mario Monti to the Council of Ministers on 27 January, Green Budget Europe led a joint call for green own resources.
Potential for green tax reform across Europe

Leaders and laggards ...
The Netherlands

GBE Advisory Committee member Hans Vos reports from the Netherlands on some proposed changes to environmental taxes in the 2017 Fiscal Plan, which include a reduction in energy tax on electricity delivered by public charging stations to plug-in vehicles.

Read more here.

GBE board member Dr Zachariadis presented a proposal for Environmental Fiscal Reform in Cyprus to five government Ministers in December 2016, under the initiative of the Finance Ministry. The core of the proposal aims to reduce labour-related taxation with the aid of revenues to be collected through a carbon tax, a water charge and a landfill tax.

Read more here.

The EU urged Spain to increase green taxes earlier this year. According to the EU Environmental Implementation Review issued by the Commission in February 2017, one of the three main challenges facing Spain with regard to EU environmental law and policy is “Increasing environmental taxation, as well as reducing environmentally harmful subsidies.”

Read more here.

In a report published on 5 January 2017, the Umweltbundesamt (UBA), the German federal environmental agency, called for meat and milk to be taxed at the standard VAT rate of 19%. Like other food products in Germany, they are currently taxed at a lower rate of 7%. THE UBA points out that this represents a significant environmentally harmful subsidy.

Read more here.

Latest EFR developments at EU level

On 22 February, as part of its European Semester economic policy coordination exercise, the European Commission delivered its country reports. It "has urged EU countries to exploit the potential of bolstering national post-crisis finances by shifting taxation to polluting sectors such as diesel cars."

Read GBE's reaction here
EFR developments worldwide

On 8 February, a group of senior Republicans, the Climate Leadership Council, presented Congress with a proposal for a carbon tax and dividend policy, as a trade-off for reduced regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. They suggest a starting price of USD 40 per tonne of carbon, the revenues of which would be shared with consumers on a quarterly basis.
Read more here:

Carbon Dividends: The Bipartisan Key to Climate Policy?

A Conservative Case for Climate Action

Republicans move to block conservative proposals for carbon tax

Petitions GBE has supported

This petition is a joint statement by 10 civil society organisations calling on the European Commission to bring its infrastructure funding through the Connecting Europe Facility in tune with the changing character of modern, sustainable infrastructure by stopping the funding of fossil-based infrastructure and increasing the focus on decentralised and demand side measures.
Calls for papers / upcoming events

GCET 18 – Global conference on Environmental Taxation. Call for papers! Submissions deadline 1 May 2017.

EFR training: invitation to participate in Open Training on "Environmental Fiscal Reform for the Energy Sector": 15–19 May 2017 in Berlin.

Call for papers for Fifth Green Growth Knowledge Platform annual conference on sustainable infrastructure, submissions deadline 15 June 2017

Other GBE news

Green Budget Europe’s AGM – 16 March

GBE is pleased to announce that it will hold its Annual General Meeting in its offices (4 Rue du Trône, Brussels-1000) on 16 March 2017. If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch at to become a member (see more information here).

GBE internal development

Since January 2017 there has been some internal restructuring at GBE, with the result that James Nix is no longer director. The board has appointed Damian Ludewig as Interim Managing Director to support GBE in the current transition phase and Constanze Adolf has taken over additional responsibility as Executive Director.


GBE is currently hiring a new Office Manager for an initial one-year contract, starting mid-April. Applications deadline 5 March. Please see our website for more details.


GBE doesn't receive any funding for this newsletter. If you want to stay updated on the latest news on green tax reform and sustainability in Europe, please consider supporting our work with a small donation.

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