Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making climate taxes more palatable

Date:
November 2, 2012
Source:
Research Council of Norway, The
Summary:
A majority of Norwegians would accept increased climate taxes -- if the taxes are understood as targeting specific environmental purposes. Earmarking of the revenues could help to gain public acceptance for such taxes, researchers say.

A majority of Norwegians would accept increased climate taxes -- if the taxes are understood as targeting specific environmental purposes. Earmarking of the revenues could help to gain public acceptance for such taxes.

It is difficult to find climate policy instruments that are both effective and have the backing of the general public.

Economists and politicians prefer to avoid earmarking of tax revenues because it limits their ability to prioritise discretionary spending in the longer term.

"But the politicians should nonetheless consider earmarking revenues, for instance to make it easier to implement new climate measures," says Steffen Kallbekken, who is Research Director at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research -- Oslo (CICERO). He headed the project "Designing feasible and efficient climate policies," which received funding from the Research Council of Norway's Large-scale Programme on Climate Change and its Impacts in Norway (NORKLIMA).

Accepting higher fuel tax

"In a nationwide survey we conducted, a majority of Norwegians initially responded that fuel taxes should be cut by NOK 1 per litre. But when we told survey respondents that the fuel tax would be targeted towards a specific environmental objective, the majority stated they would support raising Norwegian fuel taxes by NOK 1. Politicians would do well to take note of this finding."

Furthermore, a focus group study carried out under the project showed that, compared to people in other countries, Norwegians in general are less sceptical of environmental taxes and have more confidence in the authorities in this sphere.

Experience leads to positive attitudes

Dr Kallbekken also conducted laboratory experiments that showed that personal experience makes people more positive towards measures. This was also the case with the introduction of Stockholm's extra toll on rush-hour traffic. Most people were hesitant regarding a toll of this type on roads into the downtown area. But within a few months of the toll's introduction on a trial basis, people experienced its benefits: less noise and pollution, and fewer accidents. In the follow-up referendum, a majority voted to make the toll permanent.

Dr Kallbekken believes politicians should be aware of the following points when devising climate policy:

  • Earmarking of funds for specific purposes has a major impact on acceptance.
  • People often develop more positive attitudes after direct experience.
  • Better information to the public about what the monies will be used for can be an effective way to gain acceptance for higher environmental taxes -- particularly if earmarked for specific environmental measures.

People want a choice

"In the project we confirmed that people resent it when the authorities don't give them a choice in matters," continues Dr Kallbekken. "We see a strong correlation between a measure's lack of popularity and the degree to which it limits people's choice."

"If the people are instead given greater choice, it can lead to more support. One example is further investment in public transport, because this can offer greater choice in mode of transport. The result can be more public backing for investing in public transport."

"The key to gaining public acceptance is ensuring that people feel they'll get something in return. So if politicians want to muster support for climate and environmental measures, they need to use a balanced combination of carrot and stick. If people feel they are being railroaded into something, they will react negatively."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Research Council of Norway, The. The original article was written by Bård Amundsen/Else Lie; translation by Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Research Council of Norway, The. "Making climate taxes more palatable." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084646.htm>.
Research Council of Norway, The. (2012, November 2). Making climate taxes more palatable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084646.htm
Research Council of Norway, The. "Making climate taxes more palatable." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084646.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP oil spill could be a way to diminish years of costly litigation. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins