Aviation CO2 emissions are out of control

  • Aviation is the most climate-damaging mode of transport and is already responsible for at least 5% man-made climate change.
  • Flying is one of the most rapidly growing source of CO2 emissions. Intra-EU aviation CO2 emissions have increased by 26,3% over the past 5 years.
  • In 2018, aviation emissions from flights within Europe grew 4.9% to 67.5 million tonnes of CO2 which almost equals the total annual emissions of Portugal (72.5 million tonnes in 2016).

Airlines are benefiting from absurd tax advantages

Despite these alarming numbers that are endangering our carbon emission reduction objectives, the price of plane tickets is still kept artificially low in Europe. The most carbon-intensive mode of transport is benefiting from unjustified, unfair and harmful tax advantages:

  • Airlines pay no fuel tax in the EU, while many countries in the rest of the world, including Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and even Saudi Arabia kerosene uplifted for domestic aviation is taxed.
  • Furthermore, VAT is not applied for international plane tickets.

This kerosene tax exemption leads to:

  • A climate injustice and a distortion of competition, as these tax advantages financially incentivise us to choose flying over taking trains, since the latter don’t enjoy such tax incentives despite being considerably less polluting.
  • Social injustice as car drivers in the EU pay on average a 48 cts / litre tax to fill up their tanks while a tiny minority of the EU population flies.
  • No incentive for airlines to reduce their emissions as sustainable alternative aviation fuels are at least twice more expensive than kerosene.
  • A shortfall of €8bn in tax revenues to finance the transition to carbon-free mobility (intra-EU-28 flights, 33 cts / litre)

An opportunity to finance the transition to a low-carbon mobility 

Instead of artificially fuelling air travel demand, aviation fiscal policies need to take into account the total climate impact and the damage on air quality that aviation causes. Taxing planes is however not enough to ensure the transition to a low-carbon mobility. This is why tax revenues have to be used to:

  • reduce VAT on train tickets
  • improve cross border rail connectivity.
  • subsidise night trains

European governments have been postponing climate action on aviation for too long – they have to tax kerosene between them from 2021!

Since 2003 EU member states have been permitted to tax fuel for domestic aviation, and, subject to bilateral agreement with another member state, tax fuel used for flights between them. 17 years later, none of the EU-28 currently tax fuel uplifted for domestic flights nor for flights within the EU on a bilateral basis. https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/2019_05_Tax_report_briefing_web_0.pdf

In 2019, 12 EU governments finally expressed the will to tax aviation more.

Flags of each – or a nice way to include the list (9 + Finland + Austria + Ireland) 

The climate crisis requires immediate climate action! These 12 countries cannot afford to wait for a long-term and unlikely EU-wide kerosene taxation. They need to agree with each other to start taxing aviation fuels between them from 2021!

See why bilateral for more information

Take climate action, sign the Fairosene petition!

We have no time to lose in the war against carbon! Sign AND SHARE the petition to demand that your government taxes kerosene domestically and with willing countries from 2021!

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