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The Netherlands has the highest environmental taxes in the world

The Netherlands has the highest environmental taxes in the world. Citizens and companies in the Netherlands pay 27 billion euros annually, together with charges on polluting behavior.

The Dutch are world champion in environmental tax, according to a new report from the OECD, the group of richest nations.

In 2008 the Netherlands contributed 4.49 % of our total national income (gross national product) by far the highest proportion in the EU and arguably the highest in the world.

The Dutch already pay a lot to green taxes, but now we rank the higest in the world and we have even taken the lead over Denmark.

As governments face up to the challenge of moving towards a low-carbon economy in the midst of a recession, the tax system is a powerful device for changing behavior. Governments could make better use of environmental taxes to discourage polluting activities and boost innovative “green technologies”.

OECD and many other governments already apply a range of taxes to energy, air and water pollutants and waste. Environmental taxes, along with tradable permit systems, are the most cost-effective and efficient environmental policy tool available. Citizens and industry react to green taxes by changing their behaviour, especially if government gives a strong signal that they intend to maintain tax rates and the price of carbon at high levels in the long-term.

European countries feature strongly among those cited as already using environmental taxation as a policy instrument.