The green score card

The US tops the green tax in­dex while In­dia is ranked num­ber 10

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE -

Gov­ern­ments around the world are fo­cus­ing on taxes and penal­ties to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion of build­ings, im­prove wa­ter ef­fi­ciency and en­sure sus­tain­abil­ity of build­ing ma­te­ri­als. While the US tops the Green Tax In­dex, de­signed by KPMG, for its ex­ten­sive pro­gramme of fed­eral tax in­cen­tives for en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, re­new­able en­ergy and green build­ings, Japan is ranked sec­ond and scores even higher than the US on green tax penal­ties. In­dia is at num­ber 10 and is known for im­pos­ing fewer green tax penal­ties.

The KPMG Green Tax In­dex aims to en­cour­age com­pa­nies to ex­plore the op­por­tu­ni­ties that green tax in­cen­tives present. A high rank­ing in the in­dex in­di­cates that the gov­ern­ment is more ac­tive in us­ing its tax sys­tem to drive sus­tain­able business and achieve green pol­icy ob­jec­tives. It does not im­ply that a coun­try is ‘greener’.

The UK is ranked third and its green tax approach is a bal­ance be­tween penal­ties and in­cen­tives. France oc­cu­pies fourth place in the over­all rank­ing with its green tax pol­icy tilt­ing more to­wards penal­ties than in­cen­tives. South Korea ranks fifth and China is at num­ber six. The only coun­tries in the in­dex that im­pose fewer green tax penal­ties than the US or Canada are emerg­ing economies such as Brazil, In­dia, Mex­ico and Rus­sia.

Aus­tralia ranks rel­a­tively high in the penal­ties in­dex (sixth), largely due to its re­cently- in­tro­duced car­bon price mech­a­nism. How­ever, it ranks lower (19th) in the in­cen­tives in­dex, be­cause the Australian gov­ern­ment does not use tax in­cen­tives as widely to drive green cor­po­rate be­hav­iour.

Ger­many and Fin­land rank higher in the penal­ties in­dex (ninth and fourth re­spec­tively) than they do in the in­cen­tives in­dex (17th and 21st re­spec­tively). While Ger­many fo­cuses on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, green ve­hi­cles and green build­ings, Fin­land looks at green in­no­va­tion and pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant grant fund­ing.

THINKSTOCK

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