Monday, 30 June 2008 Edited by: Mette Skovgaard
A new study published by the EEA, reviews taxation schemes for extractive activities in the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Sand, gravel and rock, which are commonly known as aggregates, are relevant in terms of their contribution to economic progress and also the impact they have on the environment. Not only does extraction of aggregates alter the landscape they also affect groundwater reserves and the cultural assets of a region, hence an important factor to consider in EU policies. The European aggregates industry is the largest non‑energy extractive sector in the EU, with 3 billion tonnes produced every year.
The study concludes that the objective(s) for introducing taxes or charges on aggregates vary across countries and reflect different economic and environmental priorities. Further, it is recognised that a combination of policies is needed to stimulate a change in production methods and practices. Although, the study acknowledges that there is a potential to extend taxation in the area of natural resource management to other sectors, it also finds that the countries surveyed have achieved mixed results.