Topics

Topics

Environmental Taxation:
The German state generates nearly two thirds of its finances by levying taxes on the labour factor. Environmental and resource use factors account for about 5 % of government finances. This endangers jobs and rewards consumption of natural resources. Environmental tax reform will correct this disparity by shifting the focus of taxes and levies.


Emissions Trading:
Emissions trading reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The biggest polluters must purchase certificates in order to attain emission rights for CO2. Through emission trading a price and an upper limit can be set for greenhouse gas emissions, which have, up until recently, been permitted free of charge. The upper limit of green house gases can then be gradually reduced.



Environmentally Harmful Subsidies:
The German state spends about 50 billion Euros annually in environmentally harmful subsidies. This is a burden on nature as well as on tax payers. Environmentally harmful behaviour is rewarded through these subsidies and the costs are borne by the general public.


Environmental Procurement:
In Germany the state is the biggest consumer and therefore has a particular responsibility for creating an ecologically sustainable economy. It must lead by example and consider both ecological and social criteria in government purchases.

Transport:
Transport contributes considerably to problems such as land use, noise, air pollution and climate change. The costs caused by road traffic are still far higher than taxes imposed on drivers. Air traffic, the most environmentally harmful means of transportation, remains artificially inexpensive due to the fact that it is largely exempt from taxation.
Nuclear Energy:
Nuclear energy is a particularly risky form of energy production. Nonetheless, the nuclear sector has already received billions of Euros in subsidies. At the moment the nuclear energy industry is benefiting additionally from many economic advantages.

Agriculture:
Agricultural subsidies are higher than those to any other sector. Only a small fraction of these subsidies are environmentally beneficial. The way that land is used in farming has a strong impact on nature. In Germany 55 % of surface area is used for agriculture and 30 % for forestry.
Land use:
Every day approximately 118 hectares (about the size of 230 football fields) of land area is used in Germany. More and more land is needed for traffic infrastructure or the expansion of housing, even though the population of Germany is decreasing. This is partly due to the fact that financial incentives have up until now favoured intensive land use by municipalities.
 



Green Keynesianism:
The German federal government is giving out billions of Euros in order to save banks and to boost the economy. Unfortunately, environmental and social aspects are not considered in the process. GBG demands that the economic stimulus package for measures supporting the reorganization of the economy be used to promote ecological and social sustainability and that environmentally oriented fiscal instruments take precedence.