Today saw the establishment in Brussels of Green Budget Europe (GBE) – an independent organization that will promote an environmentally sound tax policy in Europe. The new organisation will be headed by James Nix, formerly Director of Irish NGO An Taisce.
“The establishment of GBE comes at a crucial time, as Europe is searching a way out of its multiple economic, fiscal and environmental crises. A strategy to shift taxes away from labour towards pollution and resource consumption is essential to boost innovation, create jobs and help Europe prosper,” said Nix.
GBE will be working towards an environmental fiscal reform in Europe including the shift of taxation away from labour and other “goods” to “bads” like energy and resource consumption, but also the systematic alignment of public spending with sustainability goals, especially the abolishment of environmentally harmful subsidies. GBE’s vision is a fairer, more just society, where prices reflect the ecological and social consequences and polluters pay now, instead of leaving future generations to pick up the bill.
GBE will be operating as an expert platform, including renowned academics and researchers, policy-makers and ministry staff, prominent politicians, as well as representatives from civil society organisations and businesses. It will achieve its goals through knowledge-exchange and information-sharing and a combination of research and advocacy work at EU level and within EU Member States.
GBE has existed as project run via the German think tank Green Budget Germany since 2008. Its establishment as an independent organisation now marks the reinforcement of its efforts to help overcome the environmental, social and economic crises in Europe.
Founding members include Green Budget Germany (GBG), the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Transport & Environment (T&E), The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC), and the Clean Air Action Group (Hungary).