Commission encourages Member States to switch to green taxes

22 February, Brussels – The European Commission has used its European Semester country reports to encourage Member States to change their taxation systems, switching to taxes that can support environmental objectives.

Country reports have praised those countries which have introduced such taxes, including a road tax in Belgium for heavy-duty vehicles, and a high rate of taxation on diesel, petrol and heating oil in Sweden.

In 2011, Member States set a target of 10% of tax income coming from green taxes, but so far only Denmark and the Netherlands are near to this target. France was the worst performing EU Member, reaching only 4.5%.

The country profiles encourage member states to make specific changes to their policy mixes, in particular, cutting tax breaks and subsidies to petrol and diesel, and introducing green levies.

Further concrete recommendations are expected later in the spring.

For more information, see the Commission Press Release.