Nine European Union states called on the bloc’s incoming executive Commission to introduce an EU-wide tax on aviation to cost a polluting sector more for its emissions and put all member states on level pegging.
In a letter to the EU’s executive in control of climate, Frans Timmermans, the finance ministers of Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and five different EU states appealed for “some aviation tax” without giving out details.
One of many largest nations behind the letter was Germany, which already taxes its aviation. Its finance minister, Olaf Scholz, said it would serve as a blueprint for EU-wide aviation duties.
The nine countries said an aviation tax where “the polluter pays a fairer charge for using aviation transport” is necessary to fight the changing climate. Transportation is the one European industry at the moment, increasing its emissions.
Higher taxes on polluting sectors have been hotly debated among EU states because the EU requires unanimity when deciding on a policy, akin to taxation.
Ambitious targets for lowering carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 are a part of the agenda of the new European Commission.
In July, France declared a tax on airlines flying from its airports to help support the atmosphere, a move that Air France stated would significantly hurt its competitiveness and add over 60 million euros in extra costs per year.
One of many signatories of the letter, Sweden, declared an aviation tax on its own last year, and another, the Netherlands, is preparing to introduce one in 2020 unless an EU settlement is reached before then.