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.
Portugal has included the last 600 kilometres of motorways in its toll system, which means that all the country’s motorways are now tolled for all vehicles.
The Commission is taking legal action against the British and French governments for failure to allow competition through the Channel Tunnel.
The long-running saga of the EU’s rules on road use charges for heavy goods vehicles has come to an end – at least for now – with final agreement on the third version of the Eurovignette directive. The directive comes into effect as several states, both inside and outside the EU, are introducing or considering road user charges.
The French government has confirmed it will introduce a distance-based tax on lorries at the beginning of 2013. The confirmation follows a legal challenge to the government’s decision to award the contract for collecting the tolls to an Italian company. The tax will apply to all lorries using national roads and some local roads.
EU countries have finally been given clearance to charge road hauliers for the air pollution and noise costs caused by lorries. But they will not be allowed to charge for the costs of congestion, accidents and climate changing gases. In a further weakening of the proposed directive, governments can exempt lorries under 12 tonnes from charges.
OpinionBy Jos Dings - T&E Director
In recent weeks a number of foreign airlines have been heard complaining about their inclusion from next year in Europe’s emissions trading system (EU-ETS). It was no coincidence that the collective moan emanated from the industry’s annual gathering in Singapore. Nothing rallies the airline troops like a rant against environmental policy, and the journalists who had shown up in Singapore had to write about something. But this time, even Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways, found himself speaking out against a law he himself favoured when it was in the making. His complaints echoed warnings from Airbus of a trade war in a letter to the European Commission.