Speech delivered by Jos Dings, T&E director, at the European Parliament Transport Committee’s hearing on the White Paper on Transport on 17 March 2015.
Ending the generous tax exemptions aviation enjoys would create a level playing field between all transport modes, help meet our 2030 climate targets, and answer the EU’s call for a shift away from labour taxation.
Aviation's tax-exempt status has always been an unjustified subsidy to the most carbon-intensive mode of transport. As the EU's commits to further emissions reductions and to a shift towards environmental taxation, so arguments for abolishing these exemptions are stronger than ever. This briefing outlining what steps the EU needs to take, and how ending these exemptions can reduce emissions and create employment.
Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.
The Commission has said a number of EU member states could be making more and better use of environmental taxation.
In the final years of negotiations for the new climate agreement, it’s still not clear if it will include the fastest growing emissions sources — international aviation and shipping, also known as bunker fuels.
Countries with the lowest CO2 emissions from new cars usually have registration and company car taxes which are strongly graduated according to CO2 emissions and have the greatest influence on car buyers’ choices, T&E’s latest How Clean are Europe’s cars report has found.
Three Belgian NGOs have handed in a petition to the country’s federal parliament aimed at getting the Belgian government to end its favourable treatment of company cars. The three NGOs, including T&E member Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL), collected 25,000 signatures protesting about a fiscal regime in Belgium that makes it more lucrative for employers to pay their staff through company cars and company fuel than by giving them more money.