The ecotax reform in Germany

When I was thinking about an example for sustainable development the ecotax reform in Germany came in my mind.
Under the law on the ecological tax reform the ´´Deutsche Bundestag´´ has decided to introduce the ecotax in Germany on the 1st April 1999. In the same year the first of the five reform steps started with which the consumption of energy and the connected emissions should be decreased. With the additional tax income the decrease of social security earnings and employers’ costs should be decreased.
The ecotax reform was very controversial because of different ecological, economical and legal reasons. It got even worse when the import prices for mineral oil products rose dramatically through the rise of the world prices for crude oil and through the devaluation of the Euro. This led to vehement resistance in parts of the economy and also in the German population. Meanwhile the critics slowed down because the people got used to the additional costs of the ecotax reform and also the opposition cannot do without the additional earnings of the ecotax reform.
There are many effects of the ecotax reform as for example the decline of energy and fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Besides the number of passengers in public transportation has been growing. Moreover the ecotax creates about 250000 additional jobs. Unfortunately, there are some negative effects, too as the ecotax leads to higher energy, fuel and oil prices. Still, the tax changes do not lead automatically to corresponding changes in energy prices. Fuel prices are affected by the development of the crude oil prices and the dollar rate.
To sum up, the goals of the ecotax refom are the drop of the energy consumption and the emissions, an increase in employment and the development of environmentally friendly methods. Unfortunately, exact targets of the legislative are missing, but there are some political goals like the reductions of greenhouse gases by 21% until 2012.
What do you think about reforms like the ecotax? Do you have something like this in your country?

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