This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book provides three elements of background information which are relevant to any proposals for fiscal change. These are some notes on the Irish fiscal system, a similar piece on the legal framework in which the Irish fiscal system is set and some evidence on the attitudes of Irish people to the types of changes. The book outlines the arguments in favour of the use of economic instruments for environmental policy. It shows how economic theory can be used to set optimal levels of charges and taxes. The book discusses the environmental effects of the sector; and explores the existing fiscal treatment of the sector and relate it to environmental effects; examples of fiscal approaches from elsewhere. It also provides some suggestions regarding reforms of the fiscal system, as they relate to the sector, which would be environmentally beneficial are made.