Environmental Taxes as a Condition of Business Responsibility in the Conditions of Sustainable Development

By Kwilinski, Aleksy; Ruzhytskyi, Igor et al. | Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues, January 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

Environmental Taxes as a Condition of Business Responsibility in the Conditions of Sustainable Development


Kwilinski, Aleksy, Ruzhytskyi, Igor, Patlachuk, Vasyl, Patlachuk, Oleksandr, Kaminska, Bozena, Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues


INTRODUCTION

At the present stage of development of society, environmental problems, associated with the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, occupy an important place among the global problems of mankind to ensure compliance with the priorities of sustainable development. The traditional instrument that the state applies in limiting the harmful effects of economic activity on the state of the environment is environmental taxes. At the same time, constant modifications of environmental taxation systems in the direction of finding the most effective approach necessitate the development of ways to maximize the potential of environmental taxes as an instrument to minimize the irrational use of the environment. That is why there is an urgent problem of assessing the impact of environmental taxes on the environment, as well as revising the conditions for applying financial and economic levers of influence in order to increase their efficiency.

The scale of environmental problems, the growth of environmental pollution require the direction of environmental policies and enterprises to eliminate them and encourage them to search for instruments of environmental and economic management based on the principles of sustainable development.

REVIEW OF PREVIOUS STUDIES

Climate change is recognized as the greatest threat to nature and humanity in the 21st century. In combating climate change and overcoming its negative consequences, international organizations and leading countries of the world joined forces, thus the direction of their joint work was to prevent the consequences of environmental challenges, which is primarily in promoting the development of renewable energy and improving the energy efficiency of economic sectors (Tetiana et al., 2018).

A large number of international treaties, conventions of ecological nature are an evidence of the growing scale and intensity of the impact of human activity on the environment.

The first international agreement on global warming was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Convention) in 1992 (the document was ratified by 195 countries of the world and contains common goals and principles for uniting the world community). Experts recognized the fact that to solve the environmental problems of our time, it is necessary to take into account not only technological, but also economic and legal aspects, therefore the Kyoto Protocol (1997) became the legal continuation of the Convention. The main objective of the Protocol and the Convention is to stabilize the level of harmful substances of anthropogenic origin in order to prevent negative environmental impacts (Bailey, 2017; Kaźmierczyk & Akulich, 2018).

The document sets restrictions on the emissions of direct-acting main greenhouse gases that have the most negative impact on the atmosphere-carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). A specific feature of the Protocol is several flexible regulatory mechanisms or so-called market mechanisms: emissions trading, its main point is that each participating country, in accordance with the number of population, their occupation and access to natural resources, receives the right to implement well-defined emissions (Schroeder, 2018; McDowall et al., 2017). If the country manages to reduce the amount of emissions, then part of the quota can be sold on the market, therefore, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by those participating countries that can do it at the lowest cost; joint implementation mechanism-countries can unite and jointly implement a project related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, if a country accepts such a project, it in turn becomes a seller of emission reduction units, and the rest of the participating countries invest in the project against the background of receiving additional permits for emissions; clean development mechanism allows countries to implement emission reduction projects in "exclusion" countries specified in the Kyoto Protocol (Dźwigoł et al. …

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