This article was first published, in abridged form, by Ethical Consumer. If global aviation emissions were a country, it would be ranked 7th in the list of global emitters, between Germany and South Korea. Yet aviation is the only means of transportation that doesn't pay a penny of tax on the fuel it burns. This is an unfair advantage that airlines have over trains, coaches and cars, making it the fastest growing form of transport while also being the most carbon intensive. All of this is to the benefit of rich chaps, as, contrary to common public myth about low cost flights, air travel is one of the least democratic forms of moving from A to B.
The one year pause for aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) has intensified international debate on finding a global emissions deal for aviation. This pause will finish at the end of the year and aviation in the ETS will revert to full enforcement next January. Some countries, led by the US, are pressing for any future scope to be limited to “EU airspace”, which would be environmentally ineffective and unacceptable. If the ETS is to be amended, it should be on the basis of maximum coverage of emissions generated by international flights. The most promising option to keep an environmentally sound ETS while addressing the concerns of other countries is for the EU to regulate extra-European flights on a 50/50 basis: the first 50% of any departing flight and the last 50% of any arriving flight. This, and the other options on the table, are fully explained in the briefing below.
This Comment by Greg Archer was first published by European Voice.The discussion on how to lower the average new car emissions by 2020 has been acrimonious and protracted. Even though improving fuel efficiency is a no-regrets policy with multiple benefits: cheaper motoring costs; improved EU-energy security and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Dr. Peter Liese MEP invites you to join him for an evening roundtable on the future of aviation in the ETS. This event will examine the possible options to ‘restart the clock’: reinstatement of the full ETS, reduction to departing flights only (including the 50/50 option) or scope curtailed to regional airspace, as the US and others insist. Confirmed speakers:Dr. Peter Liese, European ParliamentJos Delbeke, European CommissionMinister-Counsellor Mr. LI Song, Chinese Mission to the EUPaul Steele, International Air Transport Association (IATA)Bill Hemmings, Transport & Environment
While all eyes in Brussels are usually focused on three leading actors – the Commission, Parliament and Council – there are several other lesser-known EU institutions playing supporting roles. In the wings we have the EU Court of Auditors, which has repeatedly published scathing – and revealing – reviews on the use of EU funds for transport infrastructure. But will the stars of the EU show listen to their critics before the spotlight is turned on the new transport spending policies?
Debt-ridden EU countries miss out on up to €39bn every year, a sum rivalling that of Spain’s drastic budget cut in 2013, representing fuel and value-added taxes (VAT) that air carriers don’t pay, a new study shows.
In these times of austerity, deficit budgets of European governments are missing out on almost €40bn a year due to a lack of basic taxes on aviation. This briefing explains a new study that looks at revenue that EU Member States could receive if fuel tax and VAT were imposed on aviation, as on road transport.
The battle to set emissions limits from new cars for 2020 is becoming increasingly bitter. Lobbying by Germany on behalf of its two leading luxury car makers led to the issue being removed from the agenda of a meeting expected to approve a negotiated settlement - an unprecedented move. Germany’s tactics have caused one senior Commission official to express concern about the integrity of the EU decision-making process, while diplomats have talked about ‘rogue behaviour’ by Berlin creating ‘bad blood’ among ministers.
The Commission has published proposals aimed at reducing the amount of taxpayers’ money that goes to airports and airlines. However, the fine print of what is initially a consultation means small airports will continue to receive massive subsidies that often make their way to low-fares airlines, even when such subsidies distort competition between airlines. The consultation is important, because when it is complete the Commission can implement its preferred solution without consulting MEPs.
The potential for environmental technology in the automotive industry to create jobs, reduce vehicle running costs and harmful emissions, and lessen Europe’s dependence on imported oil has been highlighted in a new report published last month. Various scenarios suggest carbon dioxide could be cut by 64-97% by 2050, while 0.5-1.1 million additional jobs could be created by 2030.