Focus Bioenergy No 9 2004: Reaching policy targets on energy and the environment
Industrial activities affect the environment in different ways. To deal with negative consequences on the environment, funding is required either from those who cause the damage or from society in general through taxation. In the competition for public resources, but also for reasons of equity, demands are raised to impose fees on environmentally harmful activities. Such a fee or tax constitutes a political steering instrument that can steer corporate decisions in an environmentally friendly direction. The principle can also be applied in steering corporate and consumer choices towards a sustainable society. Steering instruments are thus used to achieve society’s energy and environmental goals. On the whole, today’s political steering instruments often make the use of fossil fuels more expensive than biofuels.