US ranks first in global green tax index

Clare Saxon Ghauri
30 April 2013

NEW YORK: The US, Japan and UK are the top three countries actively using green taxes to 'influence more sustainable corporate behavior', according to a new chart created by KPMG LLP.

The US came out on top as the country most actively using the tax code to increase greener business activity, a ranking which is helped by the country's long-standing federal tax incentives for energy, covering energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and green innovation and buildings.

Green tax incentives

KPMG LLP, the US-based audit, tax and advisory firm, created The Green Tax Index as a way to raise awareness of rapidly evolving green taxes around the world, in order to urge more companies to explore green tax incentives and avoid penalties.

Followed by the US, Japan and then the UK, rounding off the top ten of 21 leading economies listed were: France, Korea, China, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium and India.

KPMG recognized more than 200 different tax incentives that have an impact on corporate sustainability, with over 30 having been established since January 2011, which highlights the increasing pace of green investment.

Corporate insight

The Index was launched at the 2013 KPMG Asia Pacific Tax Summit in Shanghai this week. John Gimigliano, principal-in-charge of sustainability tax, Washington National Tax practice of KPMG LLP, said: "The KPMG Green Tax Index provides important directional insight for corporate sustainability decision makers, CFOs and board members into how countries are using taxes to influence corporate behaviour. Japan, for example, tops the rankings in its promotion of tax incentives for green vehicle production, while the United States favors a comprehensive system of renewable energy tax incentives. As a result, we're seeing more green cars coming out of Japan and dramatic growth in the US renewable sector."

Amy Davidsen, US Director, The Climate Group commented: "Tax incentives for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green buildings have been a key driver of low carbon investment in the US to date, helping it become the leading destination for clean energy investment in 2011. 

But as we saw last year -- with clean energy investment falling by almost a third as key tax credits were set to expire -- those incentives must be part of a predictable, long-term climate policy in order to encourage low carbon growth at the pace and scale that is needed to address climate change."

Explore KPMG's Green Tax Index

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