Coalition calls on commission to tax aviation fuel
European economic ministers have been urged to take decisive steps to phase out the derogation of civil aviation fro fuel taxation by a coalition of environmental NGOs.
In a letter to the ministers, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Friends of Nature International (FNI), Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) and the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E) pointed out that tax exemptions for aviation harm the environment and distort competition with other means of transport.
The coalition therefore called on all Member States to agree to a kerosene tax in the upcoming ECOFIN Council meeting.
According to the coalition, such taxes can be introduced domestically or between individual Member States without harming a country's aviation industry, in case an agreement is not possible at EU level.
Some European countries, such as the Netherlands, have already introduced such a tax for domestic flights, and others have been encouraged to follow.
"In different studies, it has been shown that, besides kerosene taxes, en-route emission charges can be used to address greenhouse gas emissions of aviation. These instruments can be introduced within a short period of time and the revenues can be recycled back into the economy, thus increasing competitiveness," the coalition stated.
The letter has been delivered at a time when the Commission in preparing a communication on the different economic instruments to address the impact of aviation on the world's climate.
By Jane Kettle