POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Luxembourg could meet emissions target: Dieschbourg



Environment minister Carole Dieschbourg, pictured for Paperjam in September 2019, says fuel tax could be further postponed if low sales levels are sustained. Patrick Galbats

Environment minister Carole Dieschbourg, pictured for Paperjam in September 2019, says fuel tax could be further postponed if low sales levels are sustained. Patrick Galbats

Despite a European Commission warning at the start of the year that Luxembourg would miss its 2020 CO2 emissions target by 5%, environment minister Carole Dieschbourg (Déi Gréng) says the grand duchy is now likely to meet the 20% reduction compared to 2005 levels. Speaking on Radio 100,7, Dieschbourg said that the coronavirus lockdown and travel restrictions had seen a reduction in fuel sales by as much as 70% compared to monthly averages.

Dieschbourg also said that because of the fall in sales, there would be no immediate rise in taxes on fuel. The government had previously announced a fuel tax as an effort to combat so-called petrol tourism. “Our policy is goal oriented,” the minister said. “That means that if the low level of sales is sustained and we reach our climate goals, we don’t need to take the next step.”

Dieschbourg also tried to clear up apparently contradictory statements from energy minister Claude Turmes and transport minister François Bausch about plans to limit car lease tax breaks to electric vehicles. Like Dieschbourg, both ministers are from the Déi Gréng party. Turmes had said he wanted to introduce the scheme, but Bausch has said it is not realistic at the moment. Dieschbourg said the scheme was being examined for viability and a decision would then be taken.

She also said that the government would accelerate the building of some cycle lanes--though which lanes exactly would be given priority was a decision she would be taking with Bausch over the summer.