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Number of countries with biodiversity-relevant taxes

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

Response

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

Response

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Data freely available

Partners

Oecd

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Contact point

Katia Karousakis: Katia.KAROUSAKIS@oecd.org

Indicator description

Economic instruments provide important market signals that can influence the behaviour of producers and consumers. They can incorporate environmental costs and benefits into the budgets of firms and households, by increasing (or decreasing) the price of a product or service. They can be an effective and cost-efficient way to achieve environmental goals, such as conserving and sustainably using biodiversity, fighting air pollution and mitigating climate change.

Environmentally related taxes increase the cost of polluting products or activities and, as a consequence, discourage their production and consumption, regardless of whether this was the intended purpose of the tax or not. A tax is a payment made to general governments that is normally not in proportion to the services provided in return.

The indicator measures the number of countries using biodiversity-relevant taxes.

Brief background/history of development

The OECD started developing the database on Policy Instruments for the Environment (PINE) in the 1980’s and the database has gradually been expanding over time as more countries provide information. Today, the OECD PINE database includes information on six types of policy instruments relevant to the environment and natural resource management in 80 countries. The database contains more than 3 200 instruments, of which more than 2 800 are in force. Each instrument in the PINE database is tagged with one or more of the environmental domains it aims to address: air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, land management, transport, water pollution, etc.

The database includes information on environmentally relevant taxes, fees and charges; subsidies; tradable permits; voluntary approaches; and deposit refund systems. For each instrument, the following information is available:

  • when it was introduced
  • what it applies to
  • the geographical coverage
  • the environmental domains it aims to address
  • the industries concerned
  • revenues, costs or rates
  • exemptions
  • All countries are welcome to provide information to this database.

    Related Aichi Targets

    Primary target

    3

    Target 3:

    By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.

    Primary target

    3

    Target 3:

    By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.

    3

    Related SDGs

    E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

    GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

    Target 15.a| Relevant indicator

    Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems.

    E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

    GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

    E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

    Themes

    Bip policy

    Policy & conservation actions

    View related indicators >
    Bip policy

    Partners

    Oecd

    Key indicator facts

    Indicator type

    Response

    Applicable for national use

    Yes (find out more)

    Indicator classification

    Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

    Indicator type

    Response

    Applicable for national use

    Yes (find out more)

    Indicator classification

    Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

    Last update

    2018

    Coverage

    Global

    Availability

    Data freely available

    Indicator description

    Economic instruments provide important market signals that can influence the behaviour of producers and consumers. They can incorporate environmental costs and benefits into the budgets of firms and households, by increasing (or decreasing) the price of a product or service. They can be an effective and cost-efficient way to achieve environmental goals, such as conserving and sustainably using biodiversity, fighting air pollution and mitigating climate change.

    Environmentally related taxes increase the cost of polluting products or activities and, as a consequence, discourage their production and consumption, regardless of whether this was the intended purpose of the tax or not. A tax is a payment made to general governments that is normally not in proportion to the services provided in return.

    The indicator measures the number of countries using biodiversity-relevant taxes.

    Brief background/history of development

    The OECD started developing the database on Policy Instruments for the Environment (PINE) in the 1980’s and the database has gradually been expanding over time as more countries provide information. Today, the OECD PINE database includes information on six types of policy instruments relevant to the environment and natural resource management in 80 countries. The database contains more than 3 200 instruments, of which more than 2 800 are in force. Each instrument in the PINE database is tagged with one or more of the environmental domains it aims to address: air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, land management, transport, water pollution, etc.

    The database includes information on environmentally relevant taxes, fees and charges; subsidies; tradable permits; voluntary approaches; and deposit refund systems. For each instrument, the following information is available:

  • when it was introduced
  • what it applies to
  • the geographical coverage
  • the environmental domains it aims to address
  • the industries concerned
  • revenues, costs or rates
  • exemptions
  • All countries are welcome to provide information to this database.

    Contact point

    Katia Karousakis: Katia.KAROUSAKIS@oecd.org

    Graphs / Diagrams

    Biorelevanttaxes Graph1

    Figure 1. Number of countries with biodiversity-relevant taxes

    Figure 2. Policy instruments by environmental domain

    Current storyline

    Biodiversity-relevant taxes include, for example, taxes on pesticides, fertilisers, forest products harvest, water pollution, groundwater extraction, etc. As can be seen in Figure 1 (see graphs and diagrams section), the number of countries with biodiversity-relevant taxes has been increasing over time. Currently, about 97 taxes in 33 countries have been identified as relevant for biodiversity.

    Biodiversity-relevant taxes generated a revenue of USD 2 billion per year on average during 2011-2015, that is, 0.56% of the total revenue from environmentally relevant taxes in OECD countries. The revenue has remained more-or-less constant over the past 15 years.

    The total number of biodiversity-relevant policy instruments reported in the database are 494 (in 53 countries), 90% of which are still in force today (Figure 2 - see graphs and diagrams section).

    For more information, see the brochure on the PINE database.

    Indicator relationship to Aichi Target 3

    Target 3 - By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.

    The CBD website states: Possible indicators for the application of positive incentive measures include the number and types of positive incentive mechanisms being developed and applied. The economic and financial values of biodiversity and ecosystem services captured via payments for ecosystem services, user fees, taxes and other mechanisms could also be used to track progress.

    https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/rationale/target-3/

    The indicator described above does exactly this, in the context of biodiversity-related taxes.

    Data and methodology

    Coverage: National. The OECD PINE database includes data from 80 countries. Currently, 33 of these include information on taxes that are relevant for biodiversity (of which 26 are OECD member countries).

    Scale: Aggregated from national data.

    Time series available: 1980-2017

    Next planned update: Updated annually.

    Metadata used: Please see here for a desciption of the definitions used in the database.

    Methodology: The information on the PINE database is collected via a network of 200 country experts in government agencies (Ministries of Finance and Environment, statistical institutes) as well as research institutes and international organisations. Data is collected systematically for 35 OECD members and three active accession countries. A growing number of non-member countries also provide information. Registered experts are asked to update data at least once a year, through a password-protected interface. All countries are welcome to provide information to this database.

    The OECD Secretariat, in consultation with countries, validates the data before they are published online. The management of PINE is overseen by OECD Committees and Working Parties such as the Joint Meetings of Tax and Environment Experts [JMTEE] and the Working Party on Environmental Information [WPEI].

    The PINE database has a series of pre-defined queries to search its contents by type of economic instrument, country, industry and environmental domain. The extraction of biodiversity-relevant economic instruments is used to calculate this indicator.

    National use of indicator

    Producing this indicator nationally: The extraction of information via pre-defined queries can be used to produce the indicator at the national level.

    Use of the global method and data at the national level: Please consult the PINE database for national level information.

    Examples of national use: Indicators derived from the database are used regularly in OECD country and policy reviews. The ability to tag and identify biodiversity-relevant instruments is a feature that was recently introduced in the PINE database, as a result the indicator suggested here has not yet been used at the national level.

    Availability of global data for national use: Freely available for non-commercial use.

    To access the data, follow this link and select the country you are interested in as well as the 'Taxes' box. You can then download this data using the 'Excel' button at the bottom of the page.

    Requested citation for use of material in the database: OECD (year), OECD database on Policy Instruments for the Environment (PINE), data extracted [date].

    Contact person for supporting national use: Katia.Karousakis@oecd.org.

    Increased country coverage possible with increased network of country experts. Please contact Miguel.CardenasRodriguez@oecd.org, if you would like to become part of the network of experts.

    Further resources

    Key indicator facts

    Indicator type

    Response

    Applicable for national use

    Yes (find out more)

    Indicator classification

    Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

    Indicator type

    Response

    Applicable for national use

    Yes (find out more)

    Indicator classification

    Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

    Last update

    2018

    Coverage

    Global

    Availability

    Data freely available

    Partners

    Oecd

    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

    Contact point

    Katia Karousakis: Katia.KAROUSAKIS@oecd.org