Call for action
As businesses are forging ahead to adapt to the challenges of our time, governments should respond by providing clear financial incentives.
This would enable inclusive and circular growth. ACCA would like to recommend the following actions:
- Put a price on pollution and resource use, starting with abolishing fossil fuel subsidies and pricing carbon emissions.
- Use the tax revenues to reduce taxes on labour and expand social protection, in particular addressing the needs of lower-income households.
- Gradually increase the rate and scope of taxes on pollution and resource use.
- Engage with businesses and the public ahead of any changes, and communicate the impacts in a transparent manner.
- Work together with the governments of other countries to adopt a regional approach to achieving the same environmental and social objectives. This lays the ground for global coordination.
- Evaluate the risks and opportunities related to global environmental and socio-economic megatrends.
- Apply internal carbon pricing and water pricing, and monitor other external costs as well as external benefits, to start shifting business investment decisions towards more inclusive and sustainable options.
- Adapt the business's governance, strategy-setting, risk management and performance measurement to respond to risks and opportunities – including considering opportunities for viable new circular and inclusive business models.
- Engage proactively with government to push for forward-looking policies to promote inclusive circular business growth.
The risks threatening our future are huge, but so are potential opportunities if we respond effectively.
According to a report by the BSDC, achieving the SDGs opens up at least $12 trillion of market opportunities. Considering our fast-changing world, tax systems will need to adapt too.
Today, it is more rational to tax pollution and resource use than it is to tax labour. By rethinking the design of our tax systems in a holistic way, we can make taxes a force for good: a tool supporting the ambitions of an inclusive global economy that is fit for the future.