Environmental taxes

The "Environmental taxes" fact sheet lists the value of taxes levied on goods and services that have a potential negative impact on the environment. It also analyses their distribution by category, as well as Portugal's position compared to the EU.

Environmental taxes are fiscal tools whose purpose is to promote the adoption of more sustainable consumption habits in order to increase efficiency in the use of natural resources and to encourage society to change behaviours that lead to the degradation of said resources, ecosystems and biodiversity.

The European Commission and  EUROSTAT have adopted the broader definition of environmental tax: "taxable base of a particular element which has proved to be especially harmful to the environment, when used or released."

In practice, the environmental tax is applied to goods that cause pollution when they are produced, consumed, disposed of, or to activities that create a negative environmental impact, in order to modify their relative price or associated costs and/or obtain revenue to finance programmes for the protection or restoration of the ecological balance. Environmental taxes are divided into four categories: Energy, Transportation, Pollution and Resources.

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
  • Promote the rational use of natural resources and the internalisation of environmental externalities, i.e., the inclusion of the costs of services and environmental damages directly into the prices of the goods, services and activities that are at their origin, contributing to the application of the user-pays principle and the integration of environmental policies into economic policies.

Progress analysis:
Last update: 
Monday, 12 November, 2018