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International comparison:
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For more information on this release:
E-mail: environment@cso.ie Berna Lawlor (+353) 1 4984210 Gerard Keogh (+353) 1 4984320
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-7956
CSO statistical release, 28 June 2017, 11am

Environment Taxes

2016

€m
Tax Type20122013201420152016
Energy2,6212,7042,8013,0013,076
Transport1,4721,6621,7831,8691,908
Pollution and Resource6664574558
Total4,1594,4294,6414,9145,042
      
% of total taxes8.7%8.8%8.5%8.2%8.1%

Environment taxes exceed €5 billion in 2016

Environment Taxes 2016 Header Graph
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€5 billion of environment related taxes were collected in 2016, an increase of 2.6% on 2015 and the highest level yet recorded. Energy taxes (mainly taxes on transport fuels) accounted for 61% of total environment taxes in 2016 with another 38% coming from Transport taxes (including motor tax and vehicle registration tax).

An environment tax is defined by Regulation (EU) 691/2011 as:

"A tax whose tax base is a physical unit (or a proxy of a physical unit) of something that has a proven, specific negative impact on the environment, and which is identified in the European System of Accounts as a tax."

Table 1 shows that environment taxes reached €4.8 billion in 2007 before falling to €3.8 billion in 2009. Taxes have since increased to €5 billion in 2016. As a percentage of total taxes environment taxes increased from 8.0% in 2007 to a high of 9.1% in 2010. In 2016 the percentage share was 8%.

Energy taxes increased from €2.3 billion in 2007 to €3.1 billion in 2016. Energy taxes as a percentage of total environment taxes increased from 46.6% in 2007 to 61.0% in 2016 with the combined Carbon tax and the Public Service Obligation levy accounting for 24.8% of energy taxes in 2016.

In 2007 Transport taxes (mainly vehicle registration and motor taxes) reached €2.5 billion with vehicle registration tax accounting for 61.7%. Transport taxes then fell to €1.5 billion in 2011 before rising again to €1.9 billion in 2016.  A combination of a large drop in vehicle sales coupled with the change to an emissions basis for vehicle registration tax in 2008 explains the drop of 40% in transport taxes between 2007 and 2009.

Pollution and resource taxes increased from €56 million in 2007 to €66 million in 2012 before falling back to €45 million in 2015 and then rising again to €58 million in 2016. The plastic bag and landfill levies were combined prior to 2009, together they increased from €55 million in 2007 to €65 million in 2012 before dropping to €44 million in 2015 then rising again to €57 million in 2016.

NACE Sector Analysis

Table 2 shows environment taxes by NACE Rev. 2 sector of Payee. In 2007 estimated environment taxes levied on households were €3.3 billion, representing a 68% share of total environment taxes. Household environment taxes then fell to €2.5 billion in 2009. In 2016 household environment taxes were €2.9 billion and represented a 58% share of total environment taxes.

Environment taxes levied on Service industries were €1.2 billion in 2007, representing a 24% share of total environment taxes. In 2016 environment taxes paid by Service industries reached €1.5 billion, their highest level and represented a 31% share of total environment taxes. The recent gradual upward movement in the percentage share in the years to 2016 being largely attributable to increases in Carbon tax and the Public Service Obligation levy.

Environment taxes levied on Industry were €0.4 billion in 2007, falling back to €0.3 billion in 2010. In 2016 environment taxes levied on Industry were €0.5 billion. In 2007 the percentage share of total environment taxes levied on industry was 7.4% while in 2016 it was 9.8%.

Environment taxes levied on the Agriculture sector were €0.03 billion in 2007, representing a 0.6% share of total environment taxes. In 2016 environment taxes levied on the Agriculture sector were €0.08 billion and represented a 1.5% share of total environment taxes.

X-axis labelAgricultureIndustryServicesHouseholds
20020.022893951960.3327807062730.8224103958971.904732913439
20030.0240807591210.3099869055130.8665860498082.099302889057
20040.029746855650.3728219925511.0392935704622.391
20050.0335400993030.3890307368161.1181364447382.679007307697
20060.0318846160480.3802752548371.1165503752432.94243523271
20070.0266427822290.356435711221.173321446813.266070171821
20080.0244897946820.3727349620661.0817389975252.83518139631
20090.0244590179290.3251668753640.9893305934412.505997647316
20100.0345497990490.3091593440081.0243539101052.724411986057
20110.0525677166850.3280064192621.0585566009562.764817835793
20120.0515830710950.334736565561.0143519012332.758278404443
20130.0562319350870.3929888374151.1637974476552.816403118859
20140.0615914838190.4345635730571.2816312942292.863456802036
20150.0706055258350.4799258197211.4519027053222.911872919155
20160.0758424859970.4964760117961.5436892489332.92575327237
Table 1 Environment Tax by Tax type, 2002-2016
€m
Tax200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Total 3,0833,3003,8334,2204,4714,8224,3143,8454,0924,2044,1594,4294,6414,9145,042
Annual % change10.9%7.0%16.1%10.1%6.0%7.9%-10.5%-10.9%6.4%2.7%-1.1%6.5%4.8%5.9%2.6%
% of total taxes8.2%8.0%8.4%8.3%7.7%8.0%8.0%8.3%9.1%9.1%8.7%8.8%8.5%8.2%8.1%
                
Energy taxes1,6741,7632,0842,2122,2322,2502,2502,2652,5082,6942,6212,7042,8013,0013,076
Duty on light hydrocarbon oil products8628719791,0171,0311,0511,0461,064993991911854810771725
Duty on other hydrocarbon oil products7798599961,0561,1201,1531,1221,1061,1061,1281,1241,1821,2341,3501,454
Electricity tax000000027776645
National Oil Reserves Agency levy3333353637478193140130123123120130130
Carbon tax00000000223298354388390418434
Public Service Obligation levy00751034400039140102151242328328
                
Transport taxes1,3881,4941,7081,9612,1862,5162,0031,5231,5221,4491,4721,6621,7831,8691,908
Vehicle registration tax8028099561,1531,3011,554938373395394384459572702814
Air travel tax0000000921034434341100
National Car Test (NCT) Levy0000000000019212222
Motor tax (business)145170187201220239265264256253264284290281263
Motor tax (households)436510560602660718795787761749781853869843789
Vehicle and driving licence expenses55555556791013202020
                
Pollution and Resource taxes214340475356625762616664574558
Plastic bag levy00000002320161415151620
Landfill levy204239465255603241445148412837
Fisheries protection111111211111111
Table 2 Environment Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2002-2016
€m
NACE Rev. 2200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Total environment taxes 3,0833,3003,8334,2204,4714,8224,3143,8454,0924,2044,1594,4294,6414,9145,042
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)232430343227242435535256627176
                
Industry (05-43)333310373389380356373325309328335393435480496
Mining and quarrying (05-09)323339415146423116282123252935
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)494350483236392835453846556772
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)221721231914131212161627344346
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)313341434442392729283236425054
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)806883837982119127118143172205221232232
Electricity and gas (35)17171919204736444444
Water and Waste (36-39)6810131314111711978899
Construction (41-43)95921091181231191048081544545454644
                
Services (45-96)8228671,0391,1181,1171,1731,0829891,0241,0591,0141,1641,2821,4521,544
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)193199237239252257290236204211193236263300312
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)500522602634624639568480522567565650695772804
Accommodation and food (55-56)24291923153153025262429344147
Information and computing (62-63)3920314149504843211826323951
Rental and leasing (77)1413324555656575108875939414243
Public administration (84)262934374132262334454231333534
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)64679610989100789888101114153184222254
                
Households and non-residents1,9052,0992,3912,6792,9423,2662,8352,5062,7242,7652,7582,8162,8632,9122,926
Table 3 Energy Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2002-2016
€m
NACE Rev. 2200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Total energy taxes 1,6741,7632,0842,2122,2322,2502,2502,2652,5082,6942,6212,7042,8013,0013,076
Annual % change16.6%5.3%18.2%6.1%0.9%0.8%-0.0%0.7%10.7%7.4%-2.7%3.2%3.6%7.1%2.5%
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)222328302822212333494651576671
                
Industry (05-43)168174226240238223209167161176157191223267286
Mining and quarrying (05-09)293138405045423116282123252935
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)343443452832362734433645546671
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)14101620151191111151524314042
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)273039424341372628273135404953
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)121725241815181818201824303739
Electricity and gas (35)13131517162536444344
Water and Waste (36-39)22443481711967888
Construction (41-43)383847476573553537302630323535
                
Services (45-96)6787318679068508628197567788568339551,0601,2271,316
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)168177214216194189255219185186166198223259271
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)433471550577568575508440484535538597640716748
Accommodation and food (55-56)1821121462142722262328334045
Information and computing (62-63)2356443225512182739
Rental and leasing (77)549111213845677788
Public administration (84)182026293122212132363128293130
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)343552553538194348626285110146174
                
Households and non-residents8068359631,0361,1171,1431,2011,3201,5371,6131,5851,5071,4611,4411,403
Table 4 Transport Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2002-2016
€m
NACE Rev. 2200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Total transport taxes 1,3881,4941,7081,9612,1862,5162,0031,5231,5221,4491,4721,6621,7831,8691,908
Annual % change3.2%7.7%14.3%14.8%11.5%15.1%-20.4%-24.0%-0.0%-4.8%1.6%12.9%7.3%4.8%2.1%
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)112344412354544
                
Industry (05-43)152112125127122118140151142144169194204207203
Mining and quarrying (05-09)321011000000000
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)1575111011101011
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)753222211112333
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)532111100000000
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)6749565660649510898119151177188193191
Electricity and gas (35)222220000000000
Water and Waste (36-39)345666000000000
Construction (41-43)50415059514342424222171312108
                
Services (45-96)138120156191239275253223233193173197209215214
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)231819185158331617242636383939
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)665051565262573836302551535554
Accommodation and food (55-56)555655122011111
Information and computing (62-63)1614233543464640151314131211
Rental and leasing (77)99223442505470100805130323333
Public administration (84)6556776329114444
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)282839474651564934354762687172
                
Households and non-residents1,0971,2611,4251,6401,8212,1181,6061,1471,1461,1091,1251,2661,3661,4421,487
Table 5 Pollution and Resource Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2002-2016
€m
NACE Rev. 2200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
Total pollution and resource taxes 214340475356625762616664574558
Annual % change1723.3%103.2%-6.5%15.9%13.2%6.5%9.9%-8.0%9.2%-1.5%8.3%-4.0%-10.2%-21.2%28.8%
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)000001000010000
                
Industry (05-43)1324212320152376998868
Mining and quarrying (05-09)000000000000000
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)122233311121111
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)122211210011101
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)000000110111111
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)122222612333323
Electricity and gas (35)232122200000000
Water and Waste (36-39)022344210000001
Construction (41-43)713111273732322211
                
Services (45-96)615162127361010149912121014
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)244479211112222
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)011133211122212
Accommodation and food (55-56)122345111000000
Information and computing (62-63)011222001101111
Rental and leasing (77)000112213112212
Public administration (84)243333000000000
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)1457811366446657
                
Households and non-residents233254283942434843372935

Background Notes

Environment taxes

Introduction 

This release contains an analysis of environment taxes by category of tax and economic sector of the payee.

Data Sources 

The starting point for the production of Environment taxes is the National Tax List (NTL) prepared by the CSO for the National Accounts and submitted to Eurostat under the ESA (European System of Accounts) transmission programme. A number of different data sources are used to allocate revenues to payee sectors. These include the Supply-Use tables and Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) data from the National Accounts along with specific information about individual taxes.

Revisions 

Environment taxes 2016 show revisions when compared with corresponding figures in the 2015 Environment Taxes Release.  These revisions mainly effect the years 2012 to 2015, they mainly arise due to the incorporation of the 2013 Supply and Use Table.

Definition 

An environment tax is defined by Regulation (EU) 691/2011 as:

“A tax whose tax base is a physical unit (or a proxy of a physical unit) of something that has a proven, specific negative impact on the environment, and which is identified in ESA as a tax.”

Once a tax base has been included in the list of environment tax bases, any tax levied on that base is considered an environment tax, irrespective of the motivation behind it. A list of Environment tax bases was agreed by Eurostat, the EU Commission, the OECD and the IEA and has been periodically revised. Table 1 contains national level data for each tax.

Categories of environment taxes

Energy taxes (including fuel for transport): This category includes taxes on energy production and energy products, including taxes on fuels for transport and stationary purposes. By definition Carbon taxes are included as an Energy tax rather than a Pollution tax, largely to aid international comparability. In Ireland’s case, taxes on transport fuels make up the bulk of energy taxes.

Transport taxes: This category includes taxes related to the ownership and use of motor vehicles. In Ireland this mainly relates to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and Motor tax.

Pollution taxes: This category includes taxes levied on emissions to air and water, management of solid waste and noise. Carbon taxes are not included in this category.

Resource taxes: Included are taxes linked to the extraction or use of natural resources. Taxes on land are generally not included, nor are taxes designed to capture the resource rent from the extraction of natural resources.

Payee breakdown

Payees are classified by household and industry according to NACE Revision (Rev.) 2 classification - the European Union’s Statistical Classification of Economic Activity in the European Communities. The tax payer is considered to be the unit using the tax base (e.g. user of electricity or transport fuel) or undertaking the activity being taxed (e.g. disposing of waste). This principle (often called the "polluter pays principle") holds regardless of where the tax is collected. Taxes on transport fuels are, for efficiency reasons, collected from mineral oil tax warehouses. The tax has been allocated to the unit purchasing the fuel for use.

 For further information on the NACE Rev. 2 classification of industrial activity, visit the CSO website:

 http://www.cso.ie/en/surveysandmethodology/classifications/classificationofindustrialactivity/

  All NACE Rev.2 sectors are covered in Tables 2 to 5 using abbreviated titles as follows:

Abbreviated Titles Full Titles
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03) Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)
   
Industry (05-43) Industry (05-43)
Mining and quarrying (05-09) Mining and quarrying (05-09)
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12) Food, beverages and tobacco products (10-12)
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21) Textiles, wood, leather, petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical products (13-21)
Plastic and non-metallic minerals   (22-23) Rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products (22-23)
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33) Metals, computers, electronic, electrical, machinery and equipment, transport and other manufacturing, repair and installation (24-33)
Electricity and gas (35) Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (35)
Water and Waste (36-39) Water collection/treatment/supply, sewerage, waste collection, treatment, disposal, materials recovery, remediation and other waste management (36-39)
Construction (41-43) Construction (41-43)
   
Services (45-96) Services (45-96)
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47) Wholesale and retail trade including motor vehicles and their repair (45-47)
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53) Transport, postal, courier activities including warehousing and support (49-53)
Accommodation and food (55-56) Accommodation; food and beverage service activities (55-56)
Information and computing (62-63) Computer programming, consultancy, information services activities (62-63)
Rental and leasing (77) Rental and leasing (77)
Public administration  (84) Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (84)
Other Services (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96) Other Services (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)
 

Methodology for allocating taxes to tax payers

The method used to allocate environment taxes to tax payers varies depending on the tax in question, using Supply-Use tables (SUT) in some instances and more detailed sources where such are available.

Energy taxes

The largest component of energy taxes relates to taxes levied on fuel purchases. The overall environment taxes reported in the NTL is split according to fuel type excise data available from the Revenue Commissioners. Separately, PCE is also available for each fuel type within the National Accounts. The household component of tax revenue associated with each fuel type is estimated by combining these two sources. The residual (i.e. non-household) component of tax revenue is then allocated across all NACE Rev. 2 sectors. Transport fuels are allocated according to NACE sector analysis of CO2 emissions from the air emissions accounts while the SUT is used for non-transport fuels. Importantly, the excise data allows identification of sectors for which relief is available, e.g. aviation; sea fishing, electricity generation and these sectors are consequently excluded from the list of payees. For other non-fuel Energy taxes including the Carbon tax, Electricity tax and the National Oil Reserves Agency Levy, allocation of the respective tax to payee NACE Rev. 2 sector is also accomplished using SUT.

Transport taxes

Revenues from transport taxes are predominantly derived from two sources, Motor tax and Vehicle Registration Tax. The NTL splits motor tax into household and business components with the business portion further allocated to payee NACE Rev. 2 sector using SUT. Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) is payable by consumers on purchase or private import of a motor vehicle. The rate of tax varies by type of vehicle and CO2 emissions rating. The SUT are used to allocate the tax revenues to tax payers with non-applicable sectors (e.g. the motor trade itself) excluded.  

Transport taxes also include an “Air travel tax” payable by all passengers travelling by air. This revenue is allocated to business and private travel using data from the CSO’s Household Travel Survey. The remaining business travel portion is then allocated using the SUT.

Pollution and Resource taxes

There are four taxes classified as Pollution or Resource taxes, namely a landfill levy, a plastic bag levy, a fisheries levy and a Petroleum Act levy. Revenue raised from the landfill levy (a “per tonne” levy on waste disposed of via landfill) is allocated using the SUT excluding not-applicable industries (e.g. intermediaries). The plastic bag levy is levied on shoppers; accordingly it is allocated entirely to households.

The fisheries levy is a very small resource tax levied on fishing. The bulk of this tax is allocated to households (arising from rod-licences) with the residual allocated to NACE 03 (fishing sector).

The NTL excludes most of the Petroleum Act levy as a “resource rent”, with the amount remaining being paid by the mining and quarrying industries.

List of environment tax bases 

The manual, "Environment taxes - a statistical guide", published by Eurostat is the relevant source for defining what tax bases are to be considered within the remit of environment taxes. All taxes levied on these bases are thereafter considered to be environment type taxes regardless of the reason why the tax was originally introduced. The 2013 update of the manual lists the following environment tax bases:

Energy taxes (including fuel for transport)

— Energy products for transport purposes

Unleaded and Leaded Petrol, Diesel and other energy products for transport purposes (e.g. LPG, natural gas, kerosene or fuel oil)

— Energy products for stationary purposes

Light fuel oil, Heavy fuel oil, Natural gas, Coal, Coke, Biofuels, Electricity consumption and production, District heat consumption and production and other energy products for stationary use

— Greenhouse gases

Carbon content of fuels and emissions of greenhouse gases (including proceeds from emission permits recorded as taxes in the national accounts)

Transport (excluding fuel for transport)

— Motor vehicles import or sale (one off taxes)

— Registration or use of motor vehicles, recurrent (e.g. yearly taxes)

— Road use (e.g. motorway taxes)

— Congestion charges and city tolls (if taxes in national accounts)

— Other means of transport (ships, airplanes, railways, etc.)

— Flights and flight tickets

— Vehicle insurance (excludes general insurance taxes) 

Pollution 

— Measured or estimated emissions to air 

Measured or estimated NOx emissions, Measured or estimated SOx emissions and other measured or estimated emissions to air (excluding CO2

— Ozone depleting substances (e.g. CFCs or halons) 

— Measured or estimated effluents to water 

Measured or estimated effluents of oxydisable matter (BOD, COD) and other measured or estimated effluents to water 

— Waste management 

Collection, treatment or disposal, and Individual products (e.g. packaging, beverage containers, batteries, tyres, lubricants) 

— Noise (e.g. aircraft take-off and landings) 

Resources 

— Water abstraction 

— Harvesting of biological resources (e.g. timber, hunted and fished species) 

— Extraction of raw materials (e.g. minerals, oil and gas) 

— Landscape changes and cutting of trees 

— Energy products for transport purposes

Table Notes 

Table 1 presents the total environment taxes from 2002, broken down by category of environment tax and individual tax type. Tables 2 to 5 present the environment tax categories broken down by economic activity of the payee.

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