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.
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.
Of the seven EU countries to have a ‘vignette’ tax system for cars, Hungary has the best and Slovenia the worst. That’s the finding of a study for the Commission that has looked at the seven existing systems as it is soon to publish draft guidelines for governments on minimum standards for vignettes.
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.