CERE’s Runar Brännlund explains in an article on SvD debate what he considers to be political decisions comprised of a mess of more or less useless subsidies and taxes. Decisions discussed are the taxation on air travels introduced April 1st, 2018 and the bonus malus taxation on cars being introduced July 1st, 2018.
Runar calls the political decisions for green washing, only creating an image of powerful and effective measures but in practice it means costs and a redistribution of resources between different groups in society, without any real climate effect. If the objective is to reduce global emissions, then the EU ETS already in place, is a better tool and can be expanded to include more countries and sectors. Closer to home the carbon tax is a known effective tool and any revenue from it can be used to compensate for undesired distribution effects.
Preliminary results from PhD-student Golnaz Amjadis work show that the wish that “green jobs” could contribute to both challenges associated with climate change and high unemployment rate is not supported by the data. Golnaz Amjadi explains in this article. Click on headline to read more
CERE’s Bengt Kriström and Per-Olov Johansson writes on SvD debate on April 28th, 2018 about what they see as a “coherence between economic experts when it comes to high-speed rails in Sweden”. Apart from the project “having few or no chances at all of becoming socio-economically profitable. One of the key factors is the population density – Sweden just does not have a big enough population” they say.
“High-speed rails could possibly decrease the emission of green-house gas but at a high cost. A decrease in carbon dioxide could cost up to 40 times more than the cheaper option.”
The newspaper Syre, writes about the goal of phasing out subsidies that are damaging to the climate and the environment. The goal is widely supported politically but not entirely unproblematic. CERE’s Runar Brännlund say that here are good grounds for the existance of reduced environmental taxes.
“The general reason used is competition. However, I would say that it is more adequate to describe it as an issue of carbon leakage. The obligation to pay full tax could in, for example, the agricultural sector mean that large parts of the business would have to shut down. This would lead to increased import from elsewhere, that in the end would potentially mean higher emissions.
We therefore need to make an analysis of which effects each case would have on the global emissions with a changed tax rate, says Runar Brännlund. At the moment, there is a lacko of clear motives as to why Swedish subsidies remain, this was established by, for instance, OECD in a review from 2014.”