Kyoto and taxes
is the subject of Global Tax; or Global Tax Reform?, (emphasis mine),
Indeed, given the rather tepid estimates of actual ‘global warming reduction’ the Kyoto Protocol might achieve if everyone does everything they have pledge to do (increasingly unlikely), there is a strong argument that a tax reform that reduces tax rates across the board (personal and business) and reduces the tax burden on saving and investment, would do a lot more to advance the stated goals of Kyoto than Kyoto itself. As Asia surges ahead in the global economy, the peoples of Asia are demanding more and more energy to drive their economies, and the efficiency of their energy use will become a truly vital international concern: a concern the Kyoto Protocol doesn’t even pretend to address.
In short, there is potential here for a vital convergence of interests that will promote sound environmental policy, and aid the U.S. and world economies as well. The ‘green’ potential of tax reform should be placed high on the agenda of the Tax Reform Commission, and should play a major role in the tax reform debate. As pointed out back in 2000 (“Tax Reform is Green”, published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute), “the greenest tax reform is that which does the most to reduce economic waste, encourage innovation and efficiency, and spur economic growth. From this standpoint, environmental tax reform should be fundamental tax reform.”
As the article says, waste of human capital is as important as waste of capital investment, and ” If the tax burden on business activity, savings, and investment could be reduced dramatically, a lot of pointless friction in our economy could be removed altogether. That friction, of course, is waste pure and simple, and economic waste that has no productive result uses lots and lots of energy. Waste less energy and you pollute less, and exploit energy sources — including fossil fuels — more efficiently.”