Title page for ETD etd-04062009-144901

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Taljaard, Grant
Email grant.taljaard@za.pwc.com
URN etd-04062009-144901
Document Title Taxing pollution : a comparison between South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and Malaysia
Degree MCom
Department Taxation
Advisor Name Title
Ms D Pieterse Supervisor
  • Malaysia
  • tax
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • pollution
  • United Kingdom
Date 2009-04-20
Availability unrestricted

The research covers the taxation and other economic methods employed by the governments of South Africa, Malaysia, Australia and The UK to address the problem of rising pollution, with specific attention to carbon emissions.

All four countries provide income tax deductions for environmental expenditure and investments; however South Africa is the only country that does not yet provide income tax allowances for renewable energy technology. In contrast, only the UK has applied a variety of indirect taxes for the purpose of reducing pollution. Even so, if a person considers the emission statistics in comparison to all the taxes, one cannot say for certain that these taxes and incentives have made any significant impact on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions thus far. Nevertheless, the tax initiatives displayed does show promise and the taxes also produce additional revenue for governments. However, a significant finding is that there is a strong correlation between the movements in fuel taxes and the movement in total CO2 emission figures over the past two decades. Moreover, vehicles are considered to be the highest source of CO2 emissions, thus it seems that fuel taxes have made a real impact on the amounts of CO2 emitted.

Even so, the issue remains that governments may sway from strict pollution taxation regimes as soon as they are perceived to bear negative economic consequences regardless of the impact on the environment, unless there are clearly quantified targets for the country as well as negative consequences for the government if the country does not reach those targets.

University of Pretoria 2008

Please cite as follows

Taljaard, G 2008, Taxing pollution : a comparison between South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and Malaysia , MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04062009-144901/ >

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