Have Carbon Taxes Worked In Other Countries?

Climate Change

Yes.  All the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland) as well as the UK, Netherlands, and Italy have had a carbon tax system in place for the past several years without impacting their economies.   The European Energy Agency estimates that the EU-15 has spent approx 2% of its GDP annually on environmental protection measures since 2001 and all those countries realized GDP growth rates equal to or higher than Canada and the USA during this decade.


As the example graph for Denmark shows, there has been a substantial improvement in Denmark’s ability to meet Kyoto targets as a result of implementing a carbon tax system. According to the EEA, Denmark’s industry improved its CO2-intensity by 25 % in seven years from 1993–2000; the econometric analysis shows that at least 10 % resulted from the CO2 tax. The impact came about both through fuel switches and energy efficiency, each accounting for about half the CO2 reduction.

United Nations Data

United Kingdom
Even partial taxes work. Consider the UK that originally started with a carbon tax on some types of fossil fuels and not others.  The UK found carbon taxes so effective that they actually expanded the scope of what was taxed.
United Nations

Denmark & UK emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) 1990 and 2010 projections as published from national statistics and complied by United Nations Environmental Knowledge For Change Program. Emissions from human activities, and primarily fossil fuels, contribute to climate change, global warming and the greenhouse effect. This is primarily from industry, energy, transportation and related sectors.


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