Page 1: Introduction
With the discovery of a previously unknown planet, one of the first things we would want to know is its capacity for supporting any form of life. These days we think we know what clues to look for and have even built spacecrafts that can supply much of the data we think we require.
Given this human fascination with the life-sustaining properties of other planets, it may seem odd that it is only recently that many of us have started to take seriously the prospect of life on Earth becoming unsustainable.
This case study looks at one of the main ways in which governments are becoming involved in co-ordinated efforts to protect society and 'save the planet'. It focuses on how governments can introduce taxation policies and practices that are designed to bring about changes in human behaviour and its impact on the environment.
In particular, it concentrates on the use of environmental taxes, and the important role played by HM Customs & Excise in administering these taxes in support of the UK government's hopes and plans for environmental improvement.