Die Zukunft bleibt ungewiss
In the article "Die Zukunft bleibt ungewiss" published in "Politische Ökologie," R. Andreas Kraemer, Director of Ecologic Institute, Daniel Blobel, and Eduard Interwies (both also of Ecologic Institute) discuss the future prospects of the German eco-tax. The authors are of the opinion that an abolition of the tax is not very probable, but neither are the necessary reforms.
As the tax partly creates incentives that contradict its original intention, its structure still needs to be improved, e.g., with respect to exemption clauses for particularly energy-intensive industries. In this case, the authors recommend not to wait for a European directive but to set a good example at the national level. Additionally, mistakes in public communication have been made: the eco-tax suffers from a partial lack of acceptance. A possible solution to this problem could be the establishment of an eco-tax commission where conflicts could be hashed out in the absence of party politics. This could also help to increase the transparency of the tax. Another promising approach would be voluntary commitments by industry.
The topical edition of the magazine, entitled Kassensturz – Strukturwandel durch Ökologische Finanzreform (German only), can be purchased online on the homepage of the oekom Verlag at a price of €15.00.