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 European Union.

Environmental taxes are fiscal tools whose purpose is to promote the adoption of more sustainable production and consumption patterns, 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: 
  • To promote the rational use of natural resources, through the application of the user-payer principle;
  • To internalise environmental externalities, that is, incorporate the costs of services and environmental damage directly into the prices of goods, services and activities that give rise to them;
  • To contribute to the integration of environmental policies into economic policies.
Progress analysis:
Last update: 
Thursday, 14 October, 2021