In their seminal paper, Bovenberg and de Mooij (1994) elucidate why an ecological tax reform will not yield a double dividend, i.e. fails to increase the efficiency of the tax system. The present paper slightly modifies the Bovenberg and de Mooij model by introducing money illusion. With this modification, an environmental tax reform that raises the price level may generate a double dividend, since the additional tax on the dirty good does not reduce labor supply. A prerequisite for the double dividend to occur is a sufficiently small elasticity of substitution between clean and dirty consumption. Moreover, accounting for money illusion always reduces the intertemporal gross cost of the tax reform.
In the wake of the USA's refusal to ratify the Kyoto agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, this article pledges for a national energy policy beyond Kyoto, based on local external effects stemming from the combustion of fossil fuels. Due to varying external effects a national policy will differentiate energy taxes between fuels. Using Swiss estimates of external effects, it is shown that a national policy would fulfill the Kyoto goal as a secondary benefit. Moreover, a nationally based fossil fuel policy would affect the scope for an international trade of CO2 emission rights, as a net-buyer of emission rights will lose from participating in such a trade.