The focus of tax instruments in reducing emissions from electricity generation in selected developing countries

Dippenaar, Mareli ; Nel, Rudi (2015-01)

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

Please cite as follows:

Dippenaar, M. & Nel, R. 2015. The focus of tax instruments in reducing emissions from electricity generation in selected developing countries. International Business & Economics Research Journal, 14(1):145-158.

The original publication is available at


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to determine the primary focus of selected developing countries (four BRICS countries; namely, Brazil, China, India and South Africa) in applying tax instruments to reduce their emissions from electricity generation. The focus of tax instruments could be on supply or demand; incentives or disincentives; direct or indirect taxes; and renewable energy, energy efficiency or research and development in these fields. It was found that the tax instruments in South Africa and India focus almost equally on the supply and demand of electricity, while the tax instruments in China focus on the demand side and those in Brazil place slightly more emphasis on the supply side. The primary focus in all the countries studied appears to be the application of incentives, rather than disincentives and the focus of their tax incentives appears to fall equally on the application of direct and indirect taxes, with the exception of South Africa where hardly any indirect tax incentives are applied. Furthermore, there seems to be an almost equal focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and research and development in the countries studied, with the exception of China where the number of tax instruments specifically aimed at energy efficiency significantly exceeds the number of instruments specifically aimed at renewable energy and research and development. Based on the findings, Brazil does not apply tax instruments to target energy efficiency.

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