Tax and fiscal structures
Recalibrating markets through for example, fiscal and pricing regimes such as the German (now Europe-wide) feed-in tariffs for renewable energy. These provide access to markets (i.e. direct access to the grid), long term contracts and minimum prices, parallel in many ways to the mechanisms of fair trade, and to contracting by paper mills for recycled paper, though in the case of feed-in tariffs the arrangement has been mandated by regulation. Reduced VAT rates have also been used in Europe to encourage environmental investment, as with home insulation in the UK, bio-fuels, renewable energy equipment and recycled paper in the Czech Republic, and the equipment for the production and use of renewable energy in Portugal. Such incentives are likely to be most effective when they are linked to regulation (such as the requirement to fit condensing boilers in the UK, or the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs) where they reduce the cost differential of the green alternatives.