EPE called for the reporting at the pan-European level on the comparison and the harmonization of national environmental and resource use charges and taxes, through a joint endeavour between ECE and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In response, the ECE Committee on Environmental Policy organized a Workshop on the role of economic instruments in integrating environmental policy with sectoral policies jointly with OECD (Pruhonice, the Czech Republic, October 1997).
The Workshop prepared Recommendations to Governments of ECE countries in transition on the application of economic instruments for better integrating environmental policy with sectoral policies (English, Russian , Français) and a proposal for a follow-up. The ECE Committee on Environmental Policy welcomed the outcome of the Workshop and recommended the countries in transition to apply its findings. Recommendations were submitted to the Aarhus Conference. The Workshop proceedings were published as Role of Economic Instruments in Integrating Environmental Policy with Sectoral Policies, United Nations, New York and Geneva, 1998.
As a follow-up, the Workshop on Enhancing the Environment by Reforming Energy Prices was convened jointly by the ECE Committee on Environmental Policy and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and in cooperation with the ECE Committee on Sustainable Energy (Pruhonice, the Czech Republic, June 2000).
As a follow up, the ECE Committees on Environmental Policy and on Sustainable Energy, at their annual sessions in 2001, decided to establish a Task Force on Environment and Energy for the period 2002-2005 with a mandate to develop non-legally binding guidelines for decision-makers on reforming energy prices to support sustainable energy development. The guidelines should help, inter alia, in preventing and reducing waste of energy and energy-related environmental impact. As a first step, the joint Task Force will focus on parts I and II of the guidelines, namely, on (a) raising energy prices to economic levels in countries in transition, and (b) reforming energy (consumption) subsidies throughout Europe. The results will be submitted to the respective Committees for preliminary review and then to the Bureaux of both Committees for their consideration in early 2003, and transmitted, thereafter, to the Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" in Kiev, 21-23 May 2003 for endorsement. The Task Force will continue the preparation of part III of the guidelines, on the internalization of external costs from energy production and use, up to the year 2005.
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