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Raise green taxes, Spain told by OECD

Jessica Jones · 2 Mar 2015, 14:21

Published: 02 Mar 2015 14:21 GMT+01:00

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The report, released on Monday, March 2nd, by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), gives 28 recommendations on how Spain could be more environmentally friendly.

While the report praised Spain on improving its environmental performance since the turn of the century, it underlined that there was still plenty of work to be done.

"There is scope to both strengthen and simplify environmental policies to achieve growth that is robust, inclusive and green," said OECD secretary-general, Angel Gurría.

It suggests that Spain could do more to simplify and streamline its, often complicated, environmental regulations as "its complex rules and decentralised management still create heavy green tape burdens on firms", according to the report.

The report points out that green tax revenue in Spain has fallen to among the lowest in Europe at 1.6 percent of GDP in 2012, while labour taxes have risen.

The report supports the idea of a reform to broaden and raise environmental taxes: "raising the diesel tax in line with the petrol tax, for example, could help preserve the environment."


The report also reveals that, while around 29 percent of Spain’s land has some form of nature protection, the conservation status of around 40 percent of habitats and species is "relatively unfavourable".

"The transformation of land for the construction of tourism and transport infrastructure" has contributed to putting Spain’s nature at risk, the report warns, pointing to Spain’s building boom in the early to mid-2000s.

Story continues below…

Spain is home to more than 550 at-risk species, by far the highest number in Europe, the latest Red List from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature recently revealed.

The Iberian lynx, the Mediterranean monk seal and the European mink are just three of the hundreds of endangered species in Spain. 

It is not all bad news, however. The report also points out that Spain generates 20 percent less CO2 per unit of GDP than in 2000 "due to the rise in renewable energies and stricter energy efficiency".

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jessica Jones (jessica.jones@thelocal.com)

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