Economic Measures to Protect the Environment

The existing Green Party policy of mandatory reporting of social and environmental performance by corporations will provide the empirical basis on which to develop a comprehensive framework of taxes on goods and services whose creation and consumption damage the environment.

Without government intervention, there is no market incentive for firms and households to consider environmental damage, since its impact is spread across many individuals, and it has little or no direct cost to the polluter. Therefore, protection of the environment generally requires collective action, usually led by government. Governments have a range of tools at their disposal to reduce environmental harm, including regulations and their related Environmental Permitting or Authorisations, information programmes, innovation policies, environmental subsidies, and environmental taxes5. Taxes and subsidies in particular, are a key part of this toolkit and this policy utilises them whilst also ensuring that any disproportionate effects on sections of our society are mitigated.

Key Policy Points

Protect and improve the environment by changing the behaviour of individuals and corporations using a mixture of monetary incentives and penalties.

Include the cost of damage done to the environment in the price of the related product or service.

Stop providing subsidies or other supports to products or activities that harm the environment.

Reward individuals for purchasing environmentally positive products.

Create a National Pollutants Credit scheme to incentivise production process improvements.

Use Universal Basic Income and extra Social Welfare payments to support a Just Transition to a sustainable future.

Ensure all imported products and services comply with our environmental standards.

Improve compliance with existing environmental regulations.

Policy passed: June 2021

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 5, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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