Flights to and from Europe have been automatically re-included in EU ETS since the start of 2017. In February the Commission proposed, in response to development at ICAO, to once more exempt these flights, this time indefinitely. The environment committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted its report on this file in July, and the full Parliament will vote on it on September 13th.
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.
Aviation is a substantial and growing driver of climate change, currently responsible for almost 5% of global warming. The objectives of the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without action to rein in its emissions growth. This T&E briefing outlines how, at its triennial assembly, ICAO has an opportunity to adopt a global market-based measure which can be a starting point for greater global ambition. However, negotiations dominated by the need to protect industry and favour historic emitters is weakening the prospect of a credible deal.
This paper will consider the legal possibilities for imposing a tax on the fuel used in EU member states' domestic aviation. It will consider the relevant treaties and laws: the Chicago Convention, the EU ETS, the Energy Taxation Directive, and the Excise Duty Directive. It reaches the conclusion that taxation can be imposed on fuel used in domestic aviation without legal impediment. It should be noted at the outset that this question has been considered before by the UK Parliament and by Prof Eckhard Pache for the German Federal Environment Agency, both of which came to the conclusion that taxing domestic aviation fuel in the EU was perfectly legal.
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.
In a plenary vote on 14 February, the European Parliament will adopt its position on reforms to Europe’s emissions trading system (EU ETS) for the 4th trading period (2021-2030). These reforms aim to fix major issues with EU ETS such as the need for tighter reduction caps and the oversupply of allowances which has depressed the carbon price.
This summer, the European Commission will present a new legislative proposal on the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) for the post-2020 period. Around 60% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the non-ETS sectors, such as surface transport, agriculture, waste and buildings.
Road freight CO2 emissions are the fastest growing segment of land transport emissions, both at EU and at global level. By 2030 heavy-duty vehicle emissions will account for almost 40% of road transport emissions. The European Commission is currently preparing a “decarbonisation of road transport strategy” in which it will outline its truck CO2 plans. To contribute to this debate T&E commissioned a market study surveying 180 SME hauliers in France, Germany, Poland, the UK and Spain.
On 11 April, 2016, T&E's freight and climate director William Todts spoke at the hearing on a sustainable Flemish mobility policy within the framework of the EU 2030 objectives. His recommendations focus on the following elements: Cleaner Vehicles; cleaner Fuels; and better traffic management and smarter taxation. Download the recommendations in full below.