World's most expensive gas: top 10 countries
8. Sweden [£1.41/L] - $8.70/gallon
Sweden has levied carbon taxes since 1991, as well as energy taxes, on fuel. These are imposed on households,
with concessions for industry. The tax is not levied on electricity generation nor on renewable sources. Carbon taxes
fund the government budget, as well as discourage fossil fuel use.
In 2006, Sweden set an ambitious goal: to be the world’s first oil-free nation by 2020. Prompted by rising oil prices
and climate concerns, it hopes to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources. By 2010, renewable fuels were 47% of total energy usage.
7. United Kingdom [£1.42/L] - $8.76/gallon
Fuel prices have increased 20% since March 2010, or 50 pounds a month for two-car households. Despite altering a tax scheme
and dropping fuel taxes by 1 pence in March of 2011, there are plans for a 6 pence increase per liter in August 2012.
6. Denmark [£1.43/L] - $8.82/gallon
Denmark levies high taxes on gasoline and automobiles - cars have a sales tax of 100%, and the price of a gallon of gasoline is
nearly 50% taxes. This keeps the volume of vehicles, and carbon emissions, low. The majority of workers in this relatively small
country of 5.5 million commute by bicycle, public transport, or walking. Denmark has more oil in its energy mix than the
United States, though it comes from the North Sea oil patch and none from the Middle East. In 2011 the Danish government presented
a strategy to be fossil-fuel free by the year 2050; currently they produce 20% of electricity from wind power.
5. Greece [£1.45/L] - $8.95/gallon
4. Italy [£1.46/L] - $9.01/gallon
Italy is the third-largest economy in the eurozone with one of the highest public perceptions of corruption in the region. It’s
estimated that the informal, or “underground economy” may make up as much as 17% of GDP, and tax evasion is a widespread issue.
Italy has very high public debt, which reached 120% of GDP in 2011. Unemployment in 2011 reached 8.4%. The Italian government
passed several austerity packages in 2011 in an effort to balance its budget and reduce debt, with gas taxes increased 24% over the past year.
3. Netherlands [£1.48/L] - $9.13/gallon
The Netherlands has the fifth-largest economy in the eurozone. Petroleum refining is a key part of the Netherlands’ industrial sector,
along with food processing and electrical machinery. The Dutch economy grew for 26 years without interruption until the 2008 global financial
crisis, which had serious effects on the Dutch financial sector. In response, the government initiated economic stimulus programs and nationalized two banks.
2. Turkey [£1.62/L] - $9.99/gallon
Turkey’s economy is mostly free-market, and there has been a push to privatize industry, banking and transportation. Fiscal reforms
instituted after a financial crisis in 2001 have helped Turkey recover from the global financial crisis in 2008, with 8.2% growth in GDP
in 2010. The country is dependent on imports of foreign oil and gas for 97% of its energy, but developments in the energy sector are
expected to reduce that dependence, especially the operation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
1. Norway [£1.64/L] - $10.12/gallon
Norway has a strong economy and is the world’s seventh largest oil exporter. The petroleum sector provides about 20% of national revenue.
The Norwegian government anticipates an eventual decline in oil and gas production, and saves state petroleum revenues in the world’s
second largest sovereign wealth fund, which was valued at over $500 billion in 2011. Returns from this fund are used to help cover public expenses.