POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Luxembourg supports aviation tax in principle



In 2018, Lux Airport recorded 4.04 million passengers, up 3.6 million on 2017 Nader Ghavami

In 2018, Lux Airport recorded 4.04 million passengers, up 3.6 million on 2017 Nader Ghavami

Luxembourg says it supports the principle behind a project to tax civil aviation in Europe and use the proceeds to combat the effects of climate change.

The Dutch-Belgian carbon tariff and aviation taxation proposal was discussed at the EU environment ministers meeting on 5 March 2019.

It proposes the taxing of jet kerosene or the introduction of a value added tax to commercial flight tickets within the EU.

Responding jointly to two parliamentary questions on the topic from the MPs Mars Di Bartolomeo (LSAP) and Fernand Kartheiser (ADR), finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP), environment minister Carole Dieschbourg (Déi Gréng) and mobility minister François Bausch (Déi Gréng) said that the Luxembourg government “supports the principle of this initiative which forms part of the Paris Agreement, as it proposes studying the application of the principle of the polluter pays with a view to reducing growing emissions from the aviation sector.”

The ministers said that without concrete details of how the project would proceed, it was too soon for the government to “give a definitive position on the subject.”

They added, however, that the initiative only makes sense if it is agreed by all EU member states and implemented across the EU.

Aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, with direct emissions accounting for 3% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions. According to to the European Commission, if growth continues unchecked, emissions will have grown 70% from 2005 to 2019. Luxembourg has has played its part in this growth, boasting growing passenger numbers year on year and adding new routes to Findel. In 2018, Lux Airport recorded 4.04 million passengers, up from 3.6 million in 2017.

According to Euractiv, many EU member states have already applied ticket taxes covering half of the European aviation market. These fees, it wrote, were “first introduced as a way around aviation sector’s exemption from VAT, which can only be changed by a unanimous decision of member states.”

Meanwhile, in Germany, Green MP Dieter Janecek recently told German publication Merkur about his plan for every citizen to be allowed a maximum of three flights per year. Anyone wishing to take more would then have to buy allowances from fellow citizens who hadn’t consumed their own flying budget.