"Environmental" taxes can be levied on certain products deemed injurious to the environment. The objective of such taxes is to lessen consumption of the product in question, e.g., toxic substances, polluting fuels, high fuel consumption vehicles, inefficient machinery, excessive or inappropriate packaging, etc.
Assessment related to product levies should focus on their impact and the relationship between taxes levied and consumption. (If demand for the product is inelastic, levies will serve as a revenue generating mechanism but will not improve the environment - unless, of course, the moneys collected are dedicated to environmental improvement*.)
* Whether taxes collected in pursuit of environmental strategies should be dedicated to environmental activities or accrue to general revenues is an important technical topic - but one outside the more narrowly defined assessment field as defined in this paper.
Reference: Synthesis study on Modalities for Environmental Assessment for Integrating Environmental Considerations into Economic Policy Making Processes: East and Southeast Asia, ESCAP, 1998, unpublished.
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