Book Chapter
Environmental Taxation and Revenue for Development

The taxation of externalities is the subject of this first of seven chapters that examine potential sources of development funding. It considers the possible role of environmental taxes for economic development. The chapter starts with a review of the welfare economics theory of environmental taxation in a single closed economy (analytical details are provided in an appendix A). The different sections then discuss alternatives to taxes as instruments of environmental policy, considering both fixed and transferable quotas; review the double dividend issue; consider the extent to which distributional concerns should be reflected in the design of environmental policy; take up some special problems in the application of environmental externalities to developing economies; extend the analysis from the single country case to the case of global externalities, where each individual country is affected by the environmental pollution of all other countries (the discussion is with specific reference to the carbon tax, and a formal analysis in the context of a two‐country model is given in a second appendix); consider the political economy of global environmental taxes, by comparing alternative tax designs with regard to the equity‐efficiency trade‐off; discuss some practical problems of tax collection; and evaluate the revenue potential of environmental taxes with special reference to the carbon tax.