Understanding the Resistance to Carbon Taxes: A Case Study of Sweden
A survey of a national sample of the Swedish population, as well as members of a large organization that protests against fuel taxes, highlights the factors that influence resistance to carbon taxes.
Although carbon taxes are generally well accepted in the countries where they have been implemented to lower carbon emissions, there is still public resistance to raising them. We study attitudes toward carbon taxation and other environmental policy instruments in Sweden. We survey a national sample of the population as well as members of a large organization that protests against fuel taxes. Our results show that educational level, rural versus urban domicile, political orientation, and especially trust in government affect opinions on carbon taxes; household income does not appear to matter. Lack of trust in government and lack of belief in the Pigouvian mechanism are especially important motivations for protesters’ opposition. When asked about the use of carbon tax revenue, some respondents support revenue refunding (uniform or progressive), but more people support using it for climate mitigation investments.
University of Gothenburg
University of Gothenburg, RFF
Thomas Sterner is a university fellow at RFF. His work is focused on the design of policy instruments to deal with resource and environmental problems.
University of Gothenburg, Environment for Development
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