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International comparison:
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For more information on this release:
E-mail: environment@cso.ie Joe O'Connor (+353) 1 4984127 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, , 11am

Environment Taxes

2017

€m
Tax Type20132014201520162017
Energy2,7212,8113,0263,1073,196
Transport1,6621,7831,8731,9101,915
Pollution and Resource5948475851
Total4,4424,6424,9475,0745,162
      
% of total taxes8.9%8.5%8.3%8.1%7.8%

Environment taxes reach €5.2 billion in 2017

Environment Taxes 2017 Header Graph
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€5.2 billion of environment related taxes were collected in 2017, the highest level yet recorded. Energy taxes (mainly taxes on transport fuels) accounted for 62% of total environment taxes in 2017 with another 37% 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 €5.2 billion in 2017.  As a percentage of total taxes, environment taxes increased from 8.0% in 2007 to a high of 9.2% in 2010. In 2017 the percentage share was 7.8%.

Energy taxes increased from €2.3 billion in 2007 to €3.2 billion in 2017.  Energy taxes as a percentage of total environment taxes increased from 46.7% in 2007 to 62.0% in 2017 with the combined Carbon tax and the Public Service Obligation levy accounting for 25.7% of energy taxes in 2017. Carbon credits, that is energy taxes accruing on foot of permits surrendered under the Emissions Trading Scheme, came to €11 million in 2017.  In certain earlier years permits were issued by Government without obligation, accordingly when surrendered, a deduction equal to the value of the permit is recorded in the Environment taxes.

In 2007 transport taxes (mainly vehicle registration and motor taxes) reached €2.5 billion with vehicle registration tax accounting for 61.8%. Transport taxes then fell to €1.5 billion in 2011 before rising again to €1.9 billion in 2017.  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 €67 million in 2012 before falling back to €47 million in 2015 and then rising again to €51 million in 2017. In 2017 the Plastic bag and Landfill levies were €17 million and €32 million respectively.

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 2017 household environment taxes were €3.1 billion and represented a 61% 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 2017 environment taxes paid by service industries reached €1.5 billion, their highest level and represented a 29% share of total environment taxes. The recent gradual upward movement in the percentage share in the years to 2017 being largely attributable to increases in the Carbon tax and the Public Service Obligation levy.

Environment taxes levied on industry were €0.35 billion in 2007, falling back to €0.32 billion in 2010. In 2017 environment taxes levied on industry were €0.43 billion. In 2007 the percentage share of total environment taxes levied on industry was 7.3% while in 2017 it was 8.3%.

Environment taxes levied on agriculture were €0.03 billion in 2007, representing a 0.6% share of total environment taxes. In 2017 environment taxes levied on agriculture were €0.09 billion and represented a 1.7% share of total environment taxes.

X-axis labelAgricultureIndustryServicesHouseholds
20030.0239913561298380.3027884071556260.8619725279379162.11152753456872
20040.02965394805138690.3660340906412681.034044027658372.40532371241907
20050.03343100551407440.3803486111417481.110013779440972.69605919209321
20060.0321343599474460.3764880315612331.110195746369552.96591034081177
20070.02655609263860680.3509437132840721.158060141564353.28771601062378
20080.02455648462942170.3659079930024891.073743116526822.85034223241487
20090.0245515106169860.325210714122110.9897327613739792.50733344678687
20100.03555733098538480.3149243061224721.051629674258032.70174738291099
20110.05280710256187240.3295388163265161.068898715309912.75286400976471
20120.05241020267142910.3370450092954221.018657858661212.77418254384294
20130.05617164970052550.392885162262141.153720912149042.8394880414333
20140.05911290584982520.4163599482937611.188694399623082.97748965789633
20150.07554215151721350.4327697677302251.310120742100573.12819780131199
20160.08398281938400650.4387152426027771.391695699507583.15983974418464
20170.08919186522432260.4260205532129221.51762980709813.12889442471365
Table 1 Environment Taxes by Tax type, 2003-2017
€m
Tax200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Total 3,3003,8354,2204,4854,8234,3153,8474,1044,2044,1824,4424,6424,9475,0745,162
Annual % change6.8%16.2%10.0%6.3%7.5%-10.5%-10.8%6.7%2.4%-0.5%6.2%4.5%6.6%2.6%1.7%
% of total taxes8.0%8.4%8.3%7.8%8.0%8.0%8.3%9.2%9.1%8.7%8.9%8.5%8.3%8.1%7.8%
                
Energy taxes1,7632,0842,2132,2472,2512,2502,2672,5202,6922,6432,7212,8113,0263,1073,196
Duty on light hydrocarbon oil products8719791,0171,0311,0511,0461,064993991911854810771725678
Duty on other hydrocarbon oil products8599961,0561,1201,1531,1221,1061,1061,1281,1241,1821,2341,3501,4541,550
Electricity tax000000277766454
National Oil Reserves Agency levy33353637478193140130123124121130132132
Carbon tax0000002235301363387386419434429
Carbon credits0001510-10-4141712201511
Public Service Obligation levy0751034400039140102151242333342392
                
Transport taxes1,4941,7081,9612,1862,5162,0031,5231,5221,4491,4721,6621,7831,8731,9101,915
Vehicle registration tax8099561,1531,3011,554938373395394384459572702814850
Air travel tax0000009210344343411000
National Car Test (NCT) Levy00000000001921262424
Motor tax (business)170187201220239265264256253264284290281263255
Motor tax (households)510560602660718795787761749781853869843789766
Vehicle and driving licence expenses555555679101320202020
                
Pollution and Resource taxes434346525662576163675948475851
Plastic bag levy131517202327231716141513121017
Landfill levy292728313233324346524334344732
Fisheries protection111112111111111
Table 2 Environment Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2003-2017
€m
NACE Rev. 2200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Total environment taxes 3,3003,8354,2204,4854,8234,3153,8474,1044,2044,1824,4424,6424,9475,0745,162
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)243033322725253653525659768489
                
Industry (05-43)303366380376351366325315330337393416433439426
Mining and quarrying (05-09)333941514642311729212320252927
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)424947323538283645384649546059
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)162123191312121216162829333639
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)334143454238273029323540444538
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)6783828081118127119143173205215213207197
Electricity and gas (35)1618191936364444443
Water and Waste (36-39)7101211131017129787777
Construction (41-43)88105114120118102808355454452525255
                
Services (45-96)8621,0341,1101,1101,1581,0749901,0521,0691,0191,1541,1891,3101,3921,518
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)197236237251253289236210213193234217229246252
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)522602634623638567480540574565638667723773892
Accommodation and food (55-56)28182214275302627243030313129
Information and computing (62-63)91930404948484421182629414444
Rental and leasing (77)1332455564627510887593931302825
Public administration (84)283336403127233545433138576264
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)65941068796779890101116156176199209212
                
Households and non-residents2,1122,4052,6962,9663,2882,8502,5072,7022,7532,7742,8392,9773,1283,1603,129
Table 3 Energy Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2003-2017
€m
NACE Rev. 2200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Total energy taxes 1,7632,0842,2132,2472,2512,2502,2672,5202,6922,6432,7212,8113,0263,1073,196
Annual % change5.3%18.2%6.2%1.6%0.2%-0.0%0.8%11.2%6.8%-1.8%3.0%3.3%7.7%2.7%2.9%
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)232830282221233449475152687682
                
Industry (05-43)174226240242223210167166177159191208227241243
Mining and quarrying (05-09)313840504542311628212320252927
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)344345293236273543364548525958
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)10162016119111115152527303236
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)303942434137262927313439434437
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)172524191518181820192530293132
Electricity and gas (35)1315171625364444443
Water and Waste (36-39)24434817119777767
Construction (41-43)384747667355353830262934373743
                
Services (45-96)7318679068558638197578058668379469951,1041,1831,314
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)177214216195189255219192188166196188197213219
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)471550577568575508441502543539586619665710826
Accommodation and food (55-56)2112147214272326242929303028
Information and computing (62-63)34644322551214202325
Rental and leasing (77)491112138456778101011
Public administration (84)202629312221213336322732485455
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)3552553738194349626489106133143150
                
Households and non-residents8359631,0371,1221,1431,2011,3211,5161,6001,6011,5331,5551,6271,6061,556
Table 4 Transport Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2003-2017
€m
NACE Rev. 2200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Total transport taxes 1,4941,7081,9612,1862,5162,0031,5231,5221,4491,4721,6621,7831,8731,9101,915
Annual % change7.7%14.3%14.8%11.5%15.1%-20.4%-24.0%-0.0%-4.8%1.6%12.9%7.3%5.0%2.0%0.3%
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)123444123546777
                
Industry (05-43)112125127122118140151142144169194202198188177
Mining and quarrying (05-09)210110000000000
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)751110000000000
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)532222111122222
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)321111000000000
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)49565660649510798119151177183181172163
Electricity and gas (35)222200000000000
Water and Waste (36-39)456660000000000
Construction (41-43)415059514342424222171316141211
                
Services (45-96)120156191239275253223232193173197184196196195
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)181918515833161724263628303131
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)505156526257383630255147566165
Accommodation and food (55-56)556551220111111
Information and computing (62-63)61423354346464015131414191918
Rental and leasing (77)922344250547010080513022191613
Public administration (84)5567763291146988
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)283947465156493435476266626059
                
Households and non-residents1,2611,4251,6401,8212,1181,6061,1471,1461,1091,1251,2661,3911,4711,5191,537
Table 5 Pollution and Resource Taxes by NACE Sector of Payee, 2003-2017
€m
NACE Rev. 2200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Total pollution and resource taxes 434346525662576163675948475851
Annual % change46.8%-0.5%7.4%11.7%9.0%9.6%-8.0%7.8%3.3%5.7%-11.3%-19.9%-0.7%22.8%-11.9%
                
Agriculture, forestry and fishing (01-03)000000000100000
                
Industry (05-43)171414129137699877106
Mining and quarrying (05-09)000000000000000
Food, beverages and tobacco (10-12)111222111211111
Textiles and pharmaceuticals (13-21)111111100111111
Plastic and non-metallic minerals (22-23)000001111110010
Metals, machinery and equipment (24-33)112113124332342
Electricity and gas (35)211111000000000
Water and Waste (36-39)112321100000000
Construction (41-43)987424323222222
                
Services (45-96)111113162161014991199139
Wholesale and retail trade (45-47)333461111122121
Transport, postal and warehousing (49-53)111221111221121
Accommodation and food (55-56)212231110000000
Information and computing (62-63)011110011011221
Rental and leasing (77)000111132111111
Public administration (84)222220000000000
Other (58-61, 64-66, 68-75, 78-82, 85-88, 90-96)344571674554454
                
Households and non-residents151719232643394044484031313536

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 2017 show revisions when compared with corresponding figures in the 2016 Environment Taxes Release.  These revisions arise for four main reasons: first due to the incorporation of the 2014 Supply and Use Table. Second due to revised estimates of air emissions. Third, the incorporation of Carbon credits into the Environment taxes going back to 2006; and fourth, revisions on foot of the splitting of Environment Fund levies into  Plastic bag and Landfill levies.

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 (VRT). The NTL splits motor tax into household and business components with the business portion further allocated to payee NACE Rev. 2 sector using SUT. 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 2003, 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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