Browse by topic: Air Pollution, Pricing and taxation


Enrico Letta, Pascal Lamy and Hans Eichel urge European leaders to use a green tax shift to fix the EU budget

The EU should fill its post-Brexit budget gap with new revenues from taxing transport, which is Europe’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, ex-WTO head Pascal Lamy, former finance minister of Germany Hans Eichel and 14 other economists have told EU leaders. In advocating a green tax shift, they called for a higher minimum tax on road diesel, VAT on airline tickets for the first time and taxing aviation kerosene which is currently exempt. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment welcomed the letter, citing its own analysis that such a green tax shift would generate additional revenues of more than €50 billion a year which would allow for the income tax burden to be reduced.

Published on February 22, 2018 - 11:52

Dirty diesel also worse for the climate than petrol cars - study

Two years after the Dieselgate scandal exposed the dirty nature of diesel cars, a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) shows that diesel cars not only pollute the air but also emit more climate-change emissions (CO2) than petrol cars. A lifecycle analysis of vehicle emissions proves that diesel cars over its lifetime emit 3.65 tonnes of CO2 more than a petrol equivalent. Diesel’s higher climate impact is due to a more energy-intensive refining of the diesel fuel; more materials required in the production of heavier and more complex engines; higher emissions from the biodiesel blended in the diesel fuel; and longer mileage because fuel is cheaper - see infographics below.

Published on September 18, 2017 - 00:01

Does sharing cars really reduce car use?

The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs, on average, €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not the full bill  – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.

Published on June 27, 2017 - 15:34

Will Ireland be next to close the diesel-petrol tax gap?

Ireland has moved a step closer to becoming the latest European nation to equalise taxation on petrol and diesel. A paper from an interdepartmental committee of the Irish government has proposed a way to wipe out the 22% tax advantage diesel currently enjoys over petrol. The paper justifies the move on air quality and climate change grounds.
Published on August 10, 2016 - 10:05

UK can’t have air benefits without respecting rules

The UK cannot enjoy its current access to the EU air transport market after it leaves the EU unless it also commits to respecting EU aviation rules, a new report by T&E says. The report examines how to safeguard efforts to reduce the environmental impact of aviation after ‘Brexit’, and concludes that everyone stands to benefit if the British government adheres to EU rules on emissions trading and state aid.

Published on January 10, 2018 - 15:46

UK increases tax on diesel cars

Europe’s only government that does not tax diesel fuel more favourably than petrol has gone a step further by increasing tax on diesel engine cars while leaving it unaltered for petrol cars. In his annual budget speech, the British chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister) said new diesels that failed to pass the strictest emissions tests would pay more tax each year. T&E said the announcement was more important for its symbolism than its financial impact.

Published on December 5, 2017 - 16:11

The role of road charging in improving transport

On 31 May 2017, the European Commission published its proposal to review the ‘Eurovignette’ Directive. The Directive defines how Member States of the European Union can charge vehicles for their use of road infrastructure and was conceived to ensure the proper functioning of the EU transport market. Transport accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400,000 premature deaths per year, 26,000 people die in traffic annually, and the EU economy loses €100 bn every year in congestion. This briefing outlines why road charging is a key instrument to tackle this.

Published on September 12, 2017 - 14:49