Thematic Platform "Green Transformation and Energy Systems"

Key publications

Empirica, 2022, 49, pp.313-345,
Supported by: Anniversary Fund of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Two major international frameworks provide landmarks for future development paths: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Monitoring the progress towards achieving the individual goals must take into account a multitude of synergies and trade-offs. In this paper we use composite indices to analyse climate and energy policies in selected EU member countries. These results show that, in general, the improvements regarding energy efficiency, emissions and deployment of renewables have been moderate in the period under observation (2005–2015). This hints at the time needed for restructuring to take place, which underlines the importance of credible political commitments to climate targets, the implementation of ambitious instruments and the need for stability in the guiding frameworks to effectuate substantial changes. In addition, the analysis of the selected countries shows that they are characterised by very specific energy systems (complemented by specific social structures), and this determines the challenges that each country must overcome on the way to decarbonisation and sustainable development. While the SDGs are to be implemented on a global scale, it is necessary to adapt them to the characteristics of a given country or region. Reliable and long-term quantitative data that is comparable across countries or regions and that takes into account the social dimension is required to be able to monitor the overall progress of SGD implementation.
Alexander Krenek, Margit Schratzenstaller
in: Barbara Caracciolo, Charline Cheuvart, Catalin Dragomirescu-Gaina, Vassilis Ntousas, Progressive Lab for Sustainable Development. From Vision to Action
Book chapters, contributions to collected volumes, Brussels, June 2017
Editors: Foundation For European Progressive Studies
The increase in wealth inequality in many EU countries has spurred renewed interest in wealth taxation. While taxes on wealth for a long time have played only a marginal role in public finance and taxation literature, in the more recent literature a variety of arguments have been put forward in favour of (higher) wealth taxation in general and in Europe in particular. Most of these arguments directly or indirectly refer to the potential of wealth taxes to contribute to various dimensions of sustainability, in particular to economic, social, and/or institutional/cultural sustainability. Tax competition has led to an almost complete disappearance of pure net wealth taxes in Europe. EU-wide implementation of a net wealth tax based on harmonised tax provisions may serve as a first step in a longer-term move to a stepwise expansion of net wealth taxes on a global scale in the form of concentric circles. By dealing with non- and underreporting in the Household and Consumption Survey (HFCS) data set provided by the European Central Bank, we are able to estimate wealth distribution within 20 EU countries. Applying a progressive tax schedule with a tax rate of 1 percent for net wealth above 1 million € and 1.5 percent for net wealth above 5 million € on these adjusted wealth distributions yields potential tax revenues of 155 billion €, taking into account the behavioural responses of individuals triggered by net wealth taxation. Given the positive sustainability properties of a wealth tax with regard to economic efficiency and social inclusion, a European wealth tax offers itself as an interesting candidate for sustainability-oriented tax-based own resources to finance the EU budget.
This paper calculates the carbon footprint of private consumption in the EU 27 by five groups of household income, using a fully fledged macroeconomic input-output model covering 59 industries and five groups of household income for the EU 27. Due to macroeconomic feedback mechanisms, this methodology – besides induced intermediate demand – also quantifies: 1. private consumption induced in the other household groups, 2. impacts on other endogenous final demand components, and 3. negative feedback effects due to output price effects of household demand. The carbon footprint is calculated separately for the consumption vector of each of the five income groups. The simulation results yield a non-linear income elasticity of direct and indirect emissions at each income level: the value of the direct footprint income elasticity decreases from 1.32 (first quintile) to 0.69 (fourth quintile). The value of the indirect footprint income elasticity is always below unity and decreases from 0.89 to 0.62. The results in general reveal a relative decoupling effect: the share of the top income group in income (45 percent) is much larger than its share in the carbon footprint (37 percent) and vice versa for the bottom income group (6 percent in income and 8 percent in footprint).
WWWforEurope: Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe, March 2016, 152 pages
Commissioned by: AK für Wien – Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH – Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research – OeAD-GmbH – European Commission, Framework Programme
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research
The WWWforEurope research project proposes a comprehensive strategy to set Europe on a dynamic path to a socio-ecological transition. The proposed strategy is medium to long-term in nature; solving short-run problems in specific countries may require some policy instruments not covered, but should nevertheless take this longer view into account. WWWforEurope respects different starting positions and heterogeneous preferences, and also acknowledges the high degree of uncertainty deriving from new challenges and disruptive technological innovations. The strategy cannot serve as a blueprint for solving all current and future problems or for exploiting all new opportunities, but it initially aims to develop guiding principles, then drivers of change and, last but not least, facilitators of strategy implementation which, combined, should support transition under very different real-world circumstances. The first part of this report is an overarching synthesis, the second one reports on the results of different models and presents research findings in the five areas which were inputs for the synthesis.
WIFO-Monatsberichte, 2015, 88(2), pp.127-135
Online since: 19.02.2015 0:00
Ein zentrales Ziel einer Reform des österreichischen Abgabensystems sollte die Verbesserung der Abgabenstruktur sein. Dies bedeutet die Umschichtung des gesamten Abgabenvolumens weg von bestimmten Steuerbasen (Entlastung) hin zu anderen Steuerbasen (und damit auch deren höhere Besteuerung). Die stärkere Besteuerung bestimmter Steuerbasen sollte nicht nur der Erschließung kurzfristiger Gegenfinanzierungspotentiale zur Kompensation von Steuerausfällen dienen. Vielmehr sollte das Leitprinzip einer zukunftsfähigen Steuerpolitik sein, aufbauend auf einer Vision für ein "Abgabensystem 2025" in einem längerfristigen Stufenplan die gesamte Abgabenlast schrittweise umzuschichten. Kern einer Abgabenstrukturreform ist eine Verringerung der hohen Abgabenbelastung des Faktors Arbeit vor allem für niedrige und mittlere Arbeitseinkommen, die im Rahmen eines ökosozialen Abgabenreformkonzeptes kompensiert wird durch die Anhebung von Umweltsteuern und bestimmten vermögensbezogenen Steuern sowie den Abbau von steuerlichen Ausnahmen vor allem in der Einkommen- und der Umsatzsteuer. Unabhängig von der Abgabenstruktur kann die Abgabenquote umso stärker gesenkt werden, je mehr es gleichzeitig gelingt, Einsparungspotentiale auf der Ausgabenseite zu realisieren, die parallel zur Senkung der Abgaben auf den Faktor Arbeit die Ausgabenquote verringern.