Cabinet to approve EIF's proposal for environmental levies

15 May 2015 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 15 MAY (NAMPA) – The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia has finalised a proposal for environmental levies and specific products which was tabled for approval to Cabinet.
The taxes include a once-off carbon emission levy and taxes on beverage cans, non-returnable plastic and glass bottles, new and second-hand cars, car tyres and non-energy-saving light bulbs.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta made the announcement during the first-ever Sustainable Development Awards ceremony held in Windhoek on Wednesday.
“The EIF has finalised a proposal for environmental levies and the specific products that are targeted will be announced once the proposal is tabled and approved by Cabinet. This will be a ground-breaking step towards enhancing and financing a green economy in Namibia,” he said.
Shifeta indicated that a number of policy frameworks have been developed to support a green economy as well as an eco-innovation in business in Namibia. These include the climate change policy, which calls for efficient mitigation and adaption responses to climate change.
He said environmentally sound businesses also have the potential to create more and decent jobs that do not necessary require high specialisation, and this is consistent with the national employment policy. All of these interventions are closely tied to the aims and objectives of the fourth National Development Plan (NDP), he said.
The minister further said initiatives aimed at greening the economy in different parts of the world have been shown to improve the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), quality and quantity of jobs, and stocks and flows of natural capital.
“A move towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, and socially inclusive green economy holds clear benefits to local communities and for reducing poverty. However, an important area of action for Namibia is the environmental fiscal reform,” he added.
The environmental levies will be collected by the Directorate: Customs and Excise in the Ministry of Finance at the point of import or manufacture. The tax rates on the identified products will be set out in the Government Gazette and will take into consideration the ability to pay to avoid placing undue burden on consumers as well as to incentivise recycling, utilisation of better alternatives and adoption of better environmental management methods.