News Item

​Greening taxes in the Pacific

News 7 Nov 2017

Greening taxes and subsidies in Pacific island Countries and Territories will be the focus of a series of workshops hosted by the RESCCUE Project of the Pacific Community (SPC) throughout the Pacific in November.

The RESCCUE Project (restoration of ecosystem services and adaptation to climate change) is a regional project coordinated by SPC and funded primarily by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) for five years.

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to increasing the resilience of Pacific Island Countries and Territories in the context of global changes.

This month’s workshops will be staged in Papeete, French Polynesia on November; Port Vila, Vanuatu on November 17; and in Suva, Fiji on November 24.

They are organised in the context of international efforts towards greener taxes and subsidies as reflected among others in Aichi targets, adopted at the 10th conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya, 2010), and more recently, the Sustainable Development Goals.

Taxes and subsidies are powerful financial mechanisms to assist Pacific island Countries and Territories’ governments, private sector and communities to adapt to climate change.

Greening taxes and subsidies can drive local economic development towards sustainability, trigger change in a wide range of sectors such as energy, transportation, mining, fisheries, agriculture, waste management, water management, urban development and tourism, as well as foster positive financial incentives to fund conservation efforts.

The workshops will mix formal presentations, interactive discussions and group work among the presenters and attendees.

The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Australian National University will present the results of their baseline regional review conducted on the topic.

In order to tailor their presentation to the local context as much as possible, they will bring a strong focus on the current situation of taxes and subsidies in each country and territory of the workshop.

Workshops will highlight:

- Which taxes and subsidies are harmful in each country and territory.

- The New Caledonia example with the work conducted by the University of New Caledonia and Vertigo Lab Consultants.

- Future needs, options and improvements in each country and territory, by economic sector.

The aim is to bring together representatives of the government, private sector, the scientific community and NGOs to start developing a roadmap, raise awareness and share best-practices to tie taxation (including tax exemptions and customs tariffs) and subsidies more closely to sustainable development objectives, in particular those related to biodiversity and ecosystems in a ridge-to-reef approach.

Visit IEEP for detailed workshop agendas, and email margotm@spc.int to register and for more information.