Photo credit: European Parliament via Flickr (CC BY 2.0

EU plans carbon tax for most flights – except private jets

The European Commission has drafted a plan to set a minimum tax rate for aviation fuels across all EU member states, supposedly to combat climate change. However, private jets will be exempt from the tax.

To date, aviation fuels have not been saddled with carbon tax under EU law. However, the Commission said that this exemption “is not coherent with the present climate challenges and policies,” and will be ending in the near future to help the EU achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.

Starting from 2023, the tax will gradually increase over the following decade until it has reached its full rate, though this rate has not yet been decided.

The goal is to force airlines to use more expensive, supposedly more “climate-friendly” fuels such as e-kerosene, which would thereby drive up the cost of flying for consumers.

However, the tax will not apply to cargo flights or to private jets used for business or leisure.

The proposed law would also tax fuels for waterborne fishing vessels and freight transport within the EU.

All EU states will have to agree to the policy unanimously before it can be implemented.

These proposals come shortly after Green Party Climate and Transport Minister, Eamon Ryan, declared that cheap holiday flights would be a thing of the past under the Irish government’s new climate proposals and annual carbon tax hikes.

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