How can fiscal measures drive forward the transition to a fair and equitable green economy?

More than 200 academics, policy makers and experts came together to jointly discuss and debate a large emerging body of research on green fiscal policy at the Third Annual Conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP).

News | 02 February 2015
From 29-30 January 2015, the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) held its Third Annual Conference on the theme of “Fiscal Policies and the Green Economy Transition: Generating Knowledge – Creating Impact”.

The conference brought together leading researchers, experts and policy makers to jointly discuss and debate the efficacy, geographical applicability and policy implications of various fiscal instruments in the transition to a green economy.

Fiscal measures in the form of taxes, charges, subsidies, incentives and budget allocations can help generate revenue for environmental and social purposes, shift behaviour towards low-carbon activities and stimulate green investment by pricing environmental externalities.

The ILO, being one of GGKPs partners, engaged throughout the two-day discussions and actively contributed specifically to the session on “Designing effective green tax reform”, along with experts from UNDESA, Green Budget Germany, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement (CIRED) and Sweden's Environment Ambassador.

The session focused on how countries can design effective green tax reforms to reduce tax burdens, address social concerns and have a positive environmental impact, with case studies on environmental fiscal reform, carbon taxes and recycling schemes.

The ILO highlighted that green investment policies are key to unleash the job creation potential of pursuing low-carbon economies. However, they must be accompanied by complementary policies to address the distributional and social implications. In addition, choices of redistribution or recycling of revenues can lead to different employment and welfare impacts, calling for careful attention. These views resonated well with research findings from the panel demonstrating potential welfare effects of revenue recycling through vocational and skills development measures.

The conference, held in partnership with Ca’Foscari University of Venice, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) took place on the Ca’ Foscari University campus in Venice, Italy. More than 50 academic papers were presented and debated through a mix of 21 plenary and parallel sessions.

The outcomes of the conference will be used by the GGKP and its partners to drive forward a global research agenda to address key knowledge gaps identified in the use of fiscal instruments in support of a green economy transition.