Cabinet discussed the increase of pollution taxes

08.01.2015 | 18:34

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Today, changes to pollution taxes were discussed at the Cabinet meeting. The Government decided to submit a long-term view of the pollution tax changes until 2025. The changes should apply from 2017, which should give the various enterprises enough time to adapt to the changes.

In the draft legislation, the changes concern the most dangerous substances to human health, which can particularly cause health problems in more sensitive groups such as children and the elderly. It is crucial to give a clear signal to enterprises that the emissions of these substances must be avoided or reduced significantly. The substances in question include fine and ultra-fine particles, hazardous volatile organic compounds, carcinogenic and mutagenic substances or substances that are affect reproduction, and heavy metals.
It is very important to give a clear message of the need to reduce emissions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds, which are generated in the large quantities in Estonia and have a direct impact on the status of water bodies, as well as representing a threat to people. It is the foul odour that is most immediately felt and it is in this regard that enterprises have to be forced to reduce their impact.
Therefore, the Ministry of the Environment has drafted a proposal to impose a higher tax for the release of the most hazardous pollutants into the environment; regarding air pollution, the average growth figure is 15% per year. The pollution tax for water and waste will be changed to a lesser extent (3% per year on average) that is comparable to inflation in the coming years.
In making the proposal, the results of approximately 40 surveys and analyses, oil prices on world markets and the environmental status have been taken into account.

A considerable part of the collected money for harnessing and polluting the environment is channelled back to the environment. For these purposes, the Environmental Investment Centre was established many years ago in Estonia, and it has aided in cleaning lakes and rivers, constructing drinking water systems, supporting reforestation, restoring protection areas and national parks, building pathways, creating projects for increasing resource efficiency and reducing the pollution of enterprises, and investing in parks, among other activities.
The pollution tax concerns over 1,600 enterprises in Estonia, the actions of which result in hazardous substances finding their way into the environment.

Government Communication Unit