€5 billion in environmental tax paid in Ireland in 2019

Ireland paid a total of €5 billion in environmental-related taxes to the government in 2019.

Environmental taxes in Ireland amounted to €5 billion in 2019, up from €3 billion in 2000, but down from a peak of €5.2 billion in 2017.

According to the Environmental Indicators Ireland 2020 report by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the revenue from environmental tax in Ireland decreased from 9.2% in 2010 to 6.5% in 2019.

These taxes, as a percentage of total taxes at 6.5% in 2019, were the lowest over the 2000-2019 period.

Environmental taxes make up 6.9% of total tax revenues

These taxes accounted for 6.9% of Ireland’s total tax revenues in 2018.

This was the 18th highest percentage in the EU and above the EU average of 6.1%. Latvia had the highest environmental tax share of total tax revenue in 2018 at 10.9%, while Luxembourg had the lowest share at 4.4%.

The report also showed that revenue raised by environmental taxes exceeded expenditure on related subsidies in Ireland over the 2000-2018 period.

In 2018, environmental subsidies were 22% of environmental taxes -. subsidies in Ireland reached €1.1 billion that year.

What is environment tax?

An environment tax is defined by Regulation (EU) 691/2011 as: “A tax whose tax base is a physical unit (or a proxy of a physical unit) of something that has a proven, specific negative impact on the environment, and which is identified in the European System of Accounts as a tax.”

Once a tax base has been included in the list of environment tax bases, any tax levied on that base is considered an environment tax, irrespective of the motivation behind it.

There are four main types of environment taxes: energy; transport; resource; and pollution taxes.

A carbon tax was introduced by the Irish government in 2010, which placed a tax on auto-diesel, petrol, aviation gasoline, kerosene, marked gas oil, fuel oil, LPG (Other), Auto LPG, and natural gas.

Organic agricultural land use 2018

The report also looked at organic agricultural land use. According to the CSO, the area of agricultural land farmed organically in Ireland increased by 257% between 1997 and 2018, when it accounted for 66,700ha or 1.4% of the total agricultural land.

Also included in the report is that agriculture was the sector with the largest greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland over the 1990-2018 period with 33.9% of the total in 2018.

EU calling for ideas ‘inspired by Apollo 11’ to restore soil health

Meanwhile, in other environment-related news, the European Commission is calling for people to present it with ambitious ideas for tackling climate change and improving soil health – so ambitious, that it wants them to be “inspired by Apollo 11”.

One of the five main “mission areas” that the EU is accepting submissions for is improving soil health and food.

According to the commission, this area is important because:

“Land and soils are essential for all life-sustaining processes on our planet. They are the basis for the food we grow as well as for many other products such as feed, textiles or wood.”