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.
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.
The Commission has suggested four ways of tackling greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, and has opened a public consultation. The consultation follows the failure of the IMO to agree measures for ships already in operation by the EU's 31-December deadline.
A new paper from the OECD on efficient taxation says raising the importance of property taxation and environmental levies is vital for improving government finances.
by Magnus Nilsson, T&E Senior Campaigner
Raising taxes on fossil fuels is pretty much the only climate policy tool that in all circumstances delivers real emission reductions. Telling people that the cost of petrol and diesel will have to rise may be a difficult message for politicians to put across, but if this method is rejected or not possible, climate policy will simply become unnecessarily costly.
The French government is reducing its subsidies for people buying fuel-efficient cars but is increasing penalties for buyers of high-consumption vehicles.
The Belgian government is putting up taxes on company cars in a package that will bring in around €200 million a year.