How should the next government green the tax system?


27 July, 2023


The tax system is a major tool in the government’s arsenal when it comes to shaping the world we live in. It can be used to enforce policy aims, stimulate solutions to societal challenges and discourage adverse behaviours. However, the potential of the tax system to drive a green economy has barely been tapped into.

As it stands, the UK tax system is geared towards a high carbon economy. It rewards polluters and lacks the incentives that would encourage green alternatives. At the same time, the government risks losing important sources of revenue (eg fuel duty) as industries decarbonise, with no clear plans on how to fix the looming fiscal black holes.

In short, the tax system is not suitable for a net zero, nature positive future.

So what needs to change?

On Wednesday 21 June 2023, our expert panel discussed how to futureproof the tax system to support the wellbeing of people and the planet. They discussed the action needed from Treasury to secure a tax system that’s fit for net zero; one that holds polluters to account, enables people to make more sustainable choices and maintains a stable income for the public purse.

This was the final event for Green Alliance’s TransformTax project, which has been generously funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust for the past three years.

Watch the full event here.


  • Chair: Peter Foster, public policy editor, Financial Times
  • Libby Peake, head of resource policy, Green Alliance
  • Chris Stark, CEO, Climate Change Committee
  • Jill Rutter, senior fellow, Institute for Government
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