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Linking minimum tax rates with energy and CO2 still proving difficult

The idea of making fuel tax in Europe relate to a fuel’s energy and carbon dioxide content is still struggling to get into the EU Energy Tax Directive. Last month EU finance ministers moved closer to approving a new structure for minimum tax rates for fuels, but most member states opposed any system that would force them to make diesel more expensive than petrol.

Lagarde calls for a ‘green economy’, and supports carbon charges for transport

The head of the International Monetary Fund has said the economic growth needed to get the world’s economies back to health must be ‘on a different track than before the crisis’. Christine Lagarde’s comments came just after a number of ex-finance ministers wrote to today’s European finance ministers, asking them to shift the burden from income tax and VAT on to carbon and energy taxes.

Hungary lorry charge

Environmental groups in Hungary fear a surge of lorries on country roads after the Hungarian government agreed a toll for trucks that is limited to motorways and a few main roads. The toll will be a distance- and pollution-based charge coming into effect in July 2013.

End of legal challenge to aviation in ETS, but will opposition now move elsewhere?

The coalition of American aviation interests that challenged the EU’s right to introduce emissions trading to air transport has abandoned its legal action. A group of six NGOs welcomed the decision, but said the airline coalition’s failure to accept December’s ruling by the European Court of Justice suggests the Americans may be moving the battlefield elsewhere.

‘Fair and ambitious’ shipping scheme needed to kickstart global efforts

The Commission should make a meaningful proposal this year for the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport. That is the message delivered by 15 NGOs to the EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard and five other commissioners in a letter dated 23 March, which specifically offers help in drawing up a proposal.

This is the moment of truth for Icao

Editorial by Jos Dings, T&E Director
If you listen carefully through the cacophony surrounding the inclusion of aviation in Europe’s Emissions Trading System, there is progress. Important progress.The verdict of the European Court of Justice cleared the legal hurdle, which even more clearly exposes this fight for what it really is: a political power struggle between the most important economic blocs on the planet.

A brave new but uncertain era for aviation and environment

The world’s first transnational scheme that forces airlines to pay for the costs of their carbon emissions came into effect on 1 January. Following a historic ruling by the European Court of Justice on 21 December that declared emissions trading for airlines using EU airspace legal, airlines can now only use EU airports if they have the necessary emissions permits to do so. Yet the battle continues, with various non-EU countries threatening other forms of retaliation, and the EU standing firm, saying it will only make concessions if there is a global measure.

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