Yet a new study by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, – the largest ever of its kind – shows that it is middle- and high-income earners who are generally affected the most by petrol taxes, especially in poor countries.
The UN climate negotiations COP17 are currently underway in Durban, South Africa. The global emissions of greenhouse gases must decrease by at least two percent per year in order to keep our planet’s temperature from rising by more than two degrees Centigrade.“Petrol taxes are effective and actually don’t affect poor people disproportionally. Powerful lobbyists have tried to undermine the whole idea of petrol taxes, claiming that the effects are too hard on the poor. Our results contradict this view, especially with respect to developing countries,” says Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Gothenburg and lead author in the UN climate panel’s (IPCC) working group Mitigation of Climate Change.
The 35 researchers studied data from 25 different countries to investigate the concern that petrol taxes affect poor people the most. The team included leading researchers from China, India, Indonesia, USA, Latin America, as well as many countries in Africa and Europe.
“The reason why the global climate negotiations are so slow has to do with global justice. Poor nations have not caused climate change and they want to be compensated rather than being forced to pay for adaptation and mitigation; they want their share of the atmospheric commons. Our research shows however, that increased fuel taxes are not, per se, incompatible with sustainable growth, reduced poverty and an improved climate,” says Thomas Sterner.
The researchers conclude that although in some high-income countries particularly the US, petrol taxes may indeed be regressive and affect the poor more, in most countries, and particularly in the poor it is the middle-and high-income earners who are generally hit harder – the tax is progressive. India, China and many African countries are examples, where cars and fuels are luxury products. In many European countries such as Sweden the petrol tax is roughly neutral.
About 25 percent of the global emissions of fossil CO2 can be traced to the transport sector, and this share has increased in recent years. In the EU it has grown from 20 to 30 percent in the last 20 years.
Thomas Sterner emphasizes that international climate negotiators should emphasize global justice and pay attention to distributional effects. “An increased petrol tax effectively reduces emissions of greenhouse gases from the transport sector, at the same time as it exemplifies these justice aspects.”For more information please contact Thomas Sterner:
The book Fuel Taxes and the Poor, The Distributional Effects of Gasoline Taxation and Their Implications for Climate Policy is published by RFF Press, Resources for the Future in Washington D.C. (www.rff.org) in cooperation with EfD, Environment for Development initiative (www.environmentfordevelopment.org), which is administered by the Environmental Economics Unit at the University of Gothenburg with funding from Sida. Link to the Routledge website about the book: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781617260926/
Helena Aaberg | idw
Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News