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Green Fiscal Reform

Environmental fiscal reforms are an essential building block to steer countries onto a sustainable long-term development path. This paper develops proposals for strengthening the role of market-based environmental policy instruments in the Slovak Republic. The paper discusses reform options aimed at mitigating air pollution and climate change, improved waste management and biodiversity conservation. This includes measures such as introduction of automatic indexation of environmentally related taxes, differentiation of energy tax rates by emission intensity of fuels, broadening tax bases to include all emission sources and reforming preferential fiscal treatment of household fuel use – a major source of local air pollution. In the waste management domain, raising the landfill tax to better reflect external environmental costs of particular tax bases would help encourage diversion of waste from landfills. A complementary waste incineration tax would help incentivise waste prevention, composting and material recycling. Finally, reforming biodiversity-harmful incentives, including certain budgetary support measures and preferential fiscal treatment, such as on synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, is needed to provide stronger incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.