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ECI Petition Created to End Aviation Tax Haven in EU

An activist group representing citizens, under the name of “Taxing KerosenEU” has officially launched a petition to end the ‘kerosene tax haven’. This initiative falls under the so-called European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which means that the petition has been registered with the European Commission and that if more than one million people – from at least 7 member states of the European Union – sign it within the year, the Commission will either have to propose legislations to meet the demands of the petition or provide adequate reasons for why they chose not to. In brief, this would mean that citizens light-handedly oblige the EU executive to deal with the matter of kerosene tax.

The notion of “kerosene tax haven” refers to the fact that the aviation fuel has been exempt from tax since the 1930s. Various countries outside of Europe have introduced taxes on flights (India, Japan and the USA already charge a similar tax on domestic flights), but most tax on flying appears in the form of ticket charges. According to a leaked report, €0.33 per litre tax on aviation kerosene sold in Europe would cut aviation emissions by 11% equating to 16.4 million tonnes of CO2. Additionally, the report predicts no net impact on jobs of the economy, as well as raise ca. €30 billion in revenues per year.

Additionally, European finance ministers are set to discuss this aviation tax 20-21 June and the French environment minister stated that France will be proposing a new tax on flights to encourage travellers to take more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

It is important to note that in the light of the results of the European parliamentary elections where the Greens had gained firmer ground, such citizens’ initiatives will likely become more frequent in the future, especially in the area of environmental policy. It has been stated on various political platforms that the environment-focused political establishment favours bottom-up policy changes, rather than normative technocrat-mannered initiatives. And the Greens’ voice will certainly be more often heard during the coming years.

To access the petition, click here.



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