Tax breaks for green investment

By Gerri Chanel, Ernst & Young:

Governments are increasingly using their tax systems to steer companies toward more responsible energy usage, using two primary tools: penalties on behavior seen as having a negative effect and tax incentives to encourage climate-friendly investment

According to Josephine Bush, EMEIA Tax Leader for Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services, ”While some governments have focused on penalizing negative actions, others have focused more on incentives to encourage investment in green areas, including green energy, green buildings – really all things green – and some governments use both. And recent years have seen a significant increase in these incentives.”

In 2009, approximately US$430 billion in climate change stimulus funding was made available globally, much of it in the form of incentives such as tax credits and grants. While projections of future funding over the next several years have dipped, staggering amounts of benefits are still expected to be available.

Save, switch or offset

Broadly speaking, green incentives are intended to support more sustainable behaviors in three main categories: save, switch and offset… Read more


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