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Tax reform for the Green Deal

Tax policy across the EU is currently mis-aligned with the objectives of the Green Deal. Taxes increase government revenues, curb aggregate demand, discourage undesirable social and environmentally damaging activities, free-up spare capacity, and can help reduce inequality - among other things.

Efforts at environmental tax reform are often hampered - on one hand - by concerns about regressive social impacts, and - on the other - by vested interests that benefit from the status quo. Yet the OECD has found that environmental taxes were the most common form of tax rises as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts. And there is evidence that pricing environmental externalities are best pursued as part of comprehensive, progressive tax reforms, with such measures now gaining traction in many countries.

This event will explore different EU member state experiences with energy and wider environmental tax reform to date and discuss the opportunities arising from the COVID-19 recovery to build EU tax systems that are both fair and green.

Watch the recording


  • Céline Charveriat (Executive Director, Institute for European Environmental Policy)
  • Rebecca Christie (Non-resident fellow, Bruegel)
  • Gerassimos Thomas (Director General Taxation and Customs Union, EU Commission)
  • Jakob Kapeller (Professor of Socio-Economics, (Plural Economics), Institute for Socio-Economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen)
  • Pascal Saint-Amans (Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration OECD)


NEF, Institute European and Environmental Policy (IEEP)
28 Sep