Unlike other transport modes, aviation is fully exempt from VAT. This distorts the internal market, and amounts to a subsidy of €7 billion per annum to this fossil-intensive sector. T&E calls for this exemption to be ended.
An ETS with 85% free allowances, combined with the fuel tax and VAT exemptions, while charging buses and trains and thus distorting competition, is simply self-defeating. Member states and the European Commission vice-presidents must take responsibility for these failures and start to address aviation in a joined-up way, not via silos where directorates abrogate joint responsibility for addressing cross-cutting questions such as fuel tax, VAT or state-aid scandals. Non-CO2 emissions must be taken seriously and measures should be prepared.
An efficiency standard is a key element of ICAO’s basket of measures and is intended to deliver emissions reductions beyond business-as-usual. But on current indications the ICAO standard for new aircraft types will not affect any new aircraft types and will only cover 5% of the world fleet in 2030. In this submission T&E outlines its position that the EPA should ensure that any standard adopted ensures efficiency improvements that go beyond business-as-usual.
T&E provided a detailed submission to the European Commission's public consultation on aviation competitiveness, which closed on 10 June 2015. T&E's response to this consultation is to call for the EU to adopt measures that create a more efficient aviation sector, making EU operators the market leaders globally. This includes adopting the most effective environmental standards possible, ending inefficient subsidies to operators and airports and adopting a common EU negotiating position for air service agreements to prevent excess capacity in the European market. With aviation emissions projected to grow considerably by 2030, such measures are necessary to meet the EU's ambitious climate objectives.
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.
In mid April 2014, the European Commission opened a consultation on disputed aid to 23 regional airports in relation to the newly revised state aid guidelines for airports and airlines which came into effect at the beginning of the month. T&E believes that decisions that will be taken on state aid under the new guidelines risk further distorting competition in an already heavily subsidised sector, wasting scarce public resources and expanding billions of euros in climate harmful subsidies that will generate more CO2 than the original emissions trading system intended to save. Transport & Environment believes that state aid can only be justified for select small airports in remote areas for which other transport is not a viable option. You can download our consultation response below.
In June 2013, the European Commission launched a consultation on the policy options for market-based measures to reduce the climate-change impact from international aviation. The consultation seeks input on questions concerning the policy options currently being developed on the international level at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and to obtain stakeholder views on options to reduce the administrative effort for small aircraft operators under the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). A new scientific report recently released highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation. T&E's response to the consultation is below.
In October 2012 the European Commission launched a public consultation on 'Review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates'. T&E has been campaigning to abolish the reduced rates for international passenger transport for years due to the harmful competitive distortions caused by those rates and the implicit subsidy it provides for passenger transport, especially in the aviation sector.
T&E response to the EU consultation on the Community Guidelines on financing of airports and start-up aid to airlines departing from regional airports
T&E reply to the Consultation of the European Commission on the ‘Green Paper on the future of VAT– Towards a simpler, more robust and efficient VAT system’