The German government has announced it is to introduce a tax on international air tickets. The move would make it the fourth western European nation following France, Great Britain and Ireland to have an aviation ticket tax.
There is a moment for everything in life. As a campaigning organisation, we often have to work very hard to create the moment for the things we believe in. The right moment came two years ago for mandatory carbon dioxide emissions standards for cars, and for taking the first tentative steps towards making aviation address its environmental costs. The moment has now arrived for another decisive step towards sustainable transport – the Eurovignette.
Anyone who reads newspapers every now and then knows that this has been an unprecedented month for the European project of which the final outcome is still far from clear. The internal strains in the Union’s core, the eurozone, have become almost unbearable, with leaders recently committing over €500 billion in cash to save the euro.
New rules on charging lorries for use of Europe’s roads could be agreed by the end of the year, after the Belgian government said it would bring the Eurovignette dossier back onto the agenda when it takes over the EU presidency in the second half of this year.
The outcome of the Copenhagen summit proved extremely disappointing as regards international aviation and shipping emissions. Although more discussion amongst countries on bunker fuels at the UNFCCC occurred in the past three months than during the last ten years, it proved impossible to bridge the continuing differences.