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European Platform on Environmental Taxation
and Green Fiscal Reform


GBE Newsletter September 2018

GBE launches new project on the next MFF

Green Budget Europe (GBE) will launch a new project on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The project proposal was approved by the German Climate Initiative (EUKI) in September, whereby activities will start as soon as possible.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with three partner organisations: Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe), Green Budget Germany (GBG) and Clean Air Action Group (CAAG) from Hungary.

"We are really thankful for the support from EUKI", says Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, Executive Director of GBE. "This project will allow us to consult civil society organisations in the Member States on the pros and cons of the current MFF (2014-2020) and propose new initiatives and policy measures for the next framework period (2021-2027)."

"The project will include  advocacy work towards the EU institutions, workshops in Warsaw and Berlin, webinars and newsletter articles, and a conference in Brussels. Following our campaign, we hope to make a difference and have an impact on the final outcome of the next framework of the EU budget, which will be decided by the end of 2020. The purpose of the project is to ensure that all future EU activities are truly sustainable and climate proof," says Yrjö-Koskinen.

For further information, please contact GBE Director Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, email: eyk@green-budget.eu, tel: +32 2 514 3480.

Heatwave: time to act against global warming

This summer has been a wake-up call to the Northern Hemisphere: record-breaking heatwaves reminded us that we need to act decisively if we intend to avoid climate chaos. So far, the EU has had a key role in the fight against global warming. Many steps have been taken but we still have a long way to go to achieve a low-carbon society.

Before the summer break, the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement on a binding renewable energy target for the EU for 2030 of 32% and an energy efficiency target of 32.5%, both including a revision clause in 2023.  According to the EU Commission, these targets will increase our emissions reduction target from the current 40% to slightly over 45% by 2030. However, according to Climate Action Network, in order to comply with the Paris Agreement, these targets should be increased to at least 55% in greenhouse gas reductions, 45% in renewable energy and a minimum of 40% in energy savings.

Earlier in May, the ministers for Environment of 14 EU countries (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom)  signed a statement asking for stronger commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of this century.

This statement seems all the more necessary in view of the heatwave that ravaged over Western and Northern Europe this summer. The extreme weather conditions experienced during the past few months should convince everyone that there is no more time to waste. The objectives set at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 will not be reached unless the international community wakes up to the urgent need for decisive action and revises its policy measures accordingly, reminds GBE.

Positive feedback at workshop on circular economy


Green Budget Europe organised a workshop on circular economy in Helsinki in mid-June. The event was held at the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra), which is also financing the project.
 
The purpose of the event was to consult Finnish experts on the different options to promote circular and low-carbon objectives that have been identified by the three implementing organisations: the Institute for European Environmental Studies (IEEP), the Ex'Tax Project Foundation (Ex'Tax) and GBE.

The workshop was a success as it produced important feedback from the participants, which included representatives from Finnish ministries, academic institutions, industrial circles and political parties. After the workshop, the project will consult key industry groups and ministries in Finland on the suggested policy measures, conduct economic modelling, and based on the results, produce new estimates on the fiscal impacts of the revised measures on growth, labour and the environment.

The final report will be published in twin seminars, which will be held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 November and in Helsinki on 3 December.

For further information, please contact GBE Project Manager Sarianne Tikkanen (e-mail: sarianne.tikkanen@green-budget.eu).

Photo: Femke Groothuis, Executive Director of Ex'Tax, introduced the need for environmental fiscal reform at the workshop in Helsinki.

GBE at Sao Paolo forum on taxation, welfare & environment

 
Ignasi Puig Ventosa, Head of Projects at Fundació ENT in Barcelona and member of the GBE board, participated in the Forum Internacional Tributário 2018 that was held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on 4-6 June.

The event gathered national and international experts to discuss European, Asian, American and BRICS tax models. It was part of the Reforma Tributária Solidária project, which prepares an in-depth study in search of alternatives to the current Brazilian fiscal model, aiming to make it fairer, more modern and efficient.

Puig Ventosa gave a presentation on "Taxation, Welfare and Environment", which provided an overview on environmental taxation and its positive impacts on the economy, society and the environment in general.

For further information, please contact Ignasi Puig Ventosa, email: ipuig@ent.cat.


GBE searches for new members and core funding


Green Budget Europe invites its supporters to join its network as individual members or new member organisations. In addition, it is actively looking for core funding to ensure the continuity of its work.

"So far, we have been working mainly with foundations that have been willing to finance separate projects for one or two years. Eventually, this has become a problem as devising and negotiating new projects is quite time consuming. In the long term, I hope we can find enough supporters that would enable us to secure at least one third of our funding," says GBE's Director Eero Yrjö-Koskinen.

"We are currently facing a dilemma, where most governments, EU institutions and stakeholders agree that fiscal incentives and the price mechanism are vital if we intend to tackle our current environmental challenges, including climate change, air quality, eutrophication and biodiversity loss. However, this common understanding has not yet materialised in sufficient support to our work. We need to change this if we want to secure our activities at European level," reminds Yrjö-Koskinen.

The easiest way to support GBE's activities is by applying for membership. The membership fee structure and instructions for payment can be found from the following link. For larger donations, please contact Director Eero Yrjö-Koskinen (email: eyk@green-budget.eu, tel: +32 2 514 3480 and gsm: +358 50 347 8778) and at the GBE Secretariat.
If you want more information about our current and/or past activities, visit our website or follow us on social media.

Latest CPLC report published

The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) is an initiative that was launched at COP21 to spearhead ambitious carbon pricing policies. It brings together leaders from national and subnational governments, from civil society and from businesses, with over 200 leading organizations working to expand carbon pricing.

Last April, CPLC published its 
second report, summarizing the main initiatives that have taken place in 2017 and 2018 at both private and public level in connection with the implementation of carbon pricing initiatives.  According to this report there were 47 actions worldwide that were scheduled or actually being implemented between 2016 and 2017, covering about 15% of global GHG emissions. Some of these include the launching of China’s national Emissions Trading System (ETS) in December 2017 or the joint forces of the national governments of Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico, as well as the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Quebec; and the Governors of California, Washington, and Ontario to launch the Carbon Pricing in the Americas initiative.

The report also covers the decision in February 2018 of the Council to officially approve the reform of the EU ETS from 2020 on, which is expected to consider competitiveness and transition towards a low-carbon economy, in addition to increasing the system's ambition, or the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, whose main goal is to  establish a carbon price for every Canadian territory.

In support of this, two of the most prominent economists, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Lord Nicholas Stern, stated in the
Report of High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices that a strong carbon price is essential not only for reducing global emissions, but it also “promotes innovation and incentivizes the generation of new ideas and solutions”.

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