On Thursday 9 July 2020, D. Heine will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Challenges and Solutions to Environmental Tax Reforms’.
The state of environmental taxes in the world today is a paradox. Countries are adopting increasingly stringent environmental objectives, in particular for climate change mitigation, and economists have increasingly championed tax policy as the most ecient policy instrument for exactly those social costs. Nevertheless, environmental taxes are not progressing. Tax rates are far below the levels required for implementing the Paris Agreement, and the overall gap between the rates of fuel taxes justied by environmental costs and countries’ actual fuel tax rates is growing. This failure is not compensated by a corresponding take-over from alternative policy instruments such as markets for emissions permits, regulations, technology policies, green bonds, improved environmental litigation opportunities or private sector breakthroughs. Instead, time is running out, while the marginal social cost of emissions is escalating. There is, therefore, a sense of urgency in discovering solutions for the impediments of policy action. Many of these impediments to environmental taxation are deeply intertwined legal and economic problems. Also some of the starkest critiques of environmental taxation have come from economic analysts of law. This thesis, therefore, scrutinises a series of challenges to environmental taxation with the purpose of providing theoretical and policy solutions.
The PhD defences will not take place publicly in the Senate Hall or Professor Andries Queridoroom due to the coronavirus. The candidates will defend their thesis online.