OECD report on energy and carbon taxes

Taxing Energy Use, a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), compares tax rates per unit of energy and per tonne of CO2 emissions from energy use across its 34 member countries.

Switzerland has the highest taxes per tonne of CO2 (on the right), at 100+ Euros (~$141). These figures for CO2 taxes include all specific taxes on energy, whether or not they are explicitly intended to tax carbon. This graph ©OECD.

OECD Taxing Energy

From the NYT (“In Energy Taxes, Tools to Help Tackle Climate Change”):

Among the 34 industrialized nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, these taxes average about $68.4 per metric ton of carbon dioxide. The United States, by contrast, has a gas tax to pay for highway improvement, and that’s about it. Total federal taxes on energy amount to $6.30 per ton. …

One study found that a carbon tax of $15 per ton would reduce greenhouse emissions by 14 percent as people sought to save energy by driving less, insulating their homes and switching to renewable fuels, among other things.

What’s more, it would raise lots of money. Estimates reviewed in a report by the Tax Policy Center ranged from 0.6 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product — for a tax of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide — to 1.6 percent of G.D.P. for a tax of $41 per ton. Consider this: 1.6 percent of G.D.P. is $240 billion a year. And $41 per ton amounts to an extra 35 cents a gallon of gas.

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