Publication: Understanding the resistance to carbon taxes

The paper "Understanding the resistance to carbon taxes. Drivers and barriers among the general public and fuel-tax protesters", authored by Jens Ewald, Thomas Sterner and Eric Sterner, published in Resource and Energy Economics, is available online now (open access).


Carbon taxes are generally well accepted in countries with significant experience thereof but there is still public resistance to raising them. We study attitudes toward carbon taxation and other environmental policy instruments in Sweden. We survey a national sample of the population as well as members of a large political movement that protests fuel taxes. Our results show that the motivations in both groups are alike: educational level, rural versus urban domicile, political orientation, and especially trust in government correlate with opinions on carbon taxes; household income does not appear to matter. Lack of trust in government and lack of belief in the Pigouvian mechanism appear as especially important motivations for protesters’ opposition. We find support for revenue refunding, but greater support, in both groups, for earmarking for climate use.