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.
This blogpost was first published in EurActiv.The UNFCCC negotiating text took an important step forward last week with the inclusion in the text of wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees.
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.
The latest round of climate talks concluded in Lima last month with a sense that some of the basics have been agreed to set the foundations of a global agreement in Paris next year. While the final outcome fell short of expectations, all parties seem to have accepted in principal the need to curb their emissions to keep an increase in global temperature below 2C. However, the two international sectors, aviation and shipping - the emissions of which have not been allocated to parties - seem to be the exception.
The rapid slide in oil prices, down 41% since June, has left the aviation industry struggling to defend its continuing high fuel surcharges and continuing reports of record profit. Here is IATA's director general, Tony Tyler, updating his stance on oil prices in light of recent developments.
A coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has called on the EU to strip the aviation sector of the tax exemptions and state aid it currently enjoys, as well as ban flights operating at night.