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European Commission pushes EU-wide energy tax

Taxation commissioner Lásló Kováks says he wants to develop energy taxation further during the second half of his mandate to support the EU's climate change policies. With the commissioners for environment and energy, Stavros Dimas and Andris Piebalgs, he is soon to publish a green paper on further use of economic instruments for advancing EU energy and environmental policy goals. Kováks hopes the consultation sparked by the green paper will include debate on energy taxation. This could then feed into a proposal for legislation when the energy tax directive is due for review. Energy taxation should take into account the environmental impacts of different energy products as well as providing an incentive for greater energy efficiency, he told a seminar on taxation. This was the first in a series called the Brussels Tax Forum and took as its theme "Taxation for Sustainable Development." Energy taxation would work alongside and support Europe's emissions trading scheme, he said, adding that it should "more directly favour more environmentally friendly energy sources, notably renewables." A shift away from taxation of labour towards energy or environmental taxes is good for EU growth, jobs and sustainable development, said Kováks.

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