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.

Environmentalists argue that the aviation industry should have to pay for the climate-changing gases that they emit into the world's atmosphere

Environmentalists argue that the aviation industry should have to pay for the climate-changing gases that they emit into the world's atmosphere

One of the items on the agenda at the upcoming ECOFIN Council meeting is kerosene taxation, which will be discussed in the context of new financial mechanisms for development in Africa, a French proposal to use revenues from kerosene taxation in this way.

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


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