Environmental Policy

Report on Auto-Related Environmental Taxes_7. Combination of Measures to Address Air Pollution and Global Warming

7. Combination of Measures to Address Air Pollution and Global Warming

Currently, no integrated indicator in Japan is applicable to the prevention of both air pollution and global warming. Therefore, in order to incorporate the idea of environmental conservation in auto-related taxation, it seems appropriate to determine the ultimate amount of tax after assessing the effects of the vehicle upon the environment. This assessment can be arrived at by establishing separate classification criteria for air pollution and global warming and by then determining the amount of taxes to be levied (including special additions or reductions as appropriate) under each of these two classification criteria. Adding these two amounts will produce a total that will enable one to assess the effects of the vehicle on the environment and thus determine the final amount of tax to be levied.
Here, it is important to balance the amounts of two different sets of taxes, one for addressing global warming and another for addressing air pollution. In addition, in cases of electric cars which are highly useful in the prevention of both global warming and air pollution, tax reductions from both sets of taxes should be carried out so that wider use of electric cars can be encouraged.

Freight vehicles with a total weight of over 2.5 tons emit air pollutants that make up a large part of overall emissions. In its report, the Council for Transport Policy calls for future studies on specifics regarding the introduction of green taxation. For this class of vehicles, therefore, the re-examination of tax systems to help control air pollution should be carried out first, along with the monitoring of progress in technology development.

In any case, thorough consideration and coordination by the government is necessary in deciding the amount of taxes and other matters that are expected to contribute significantly to the reduction of emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide.

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