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New Zealand’s water quality, soil health, and biodiversity are in decline, and emissions of dangerous greenhouse gases are increasing. We have a moral obligation to future generations to curb this degradation and restore our natural environment.
Perverse environmental outcomes have often resulted from market failures. These failures unjustly place the cost of environmental degradation onto society, rather than those responsible. Greenpeace supports the Government using taxation as a way to correct for these failures for the benefit of the environment and the New Zealand public.
The OECD acknowledges that many environmental taxes implemented by its member countries are poorly designed and targeted. Too often, big polluters are exempt from an environmental tax due to unjustified competitiveness claims, compromising its environmental effectiveness and leaving the wider public to cover the cost. Greenpeace urges the Government to stand up to lobbyists and polluters and implement environmental taxes with as few exemptions as possible, and at rates which drive behaviour change.
Greenpeace advocates that the revenues from new environmental taxes be used to provide an income tax free threshold.