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8250 Signatures Required from Ireland to Support Aviation Fuel Tax

category national | environment | press release author Thursday June 13, 2019 22:45author by foie - Friends of the Irish Environment Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment 10th June 2019

European Citizens’ Initiative seeks end to aviation fuel tax exemption
8250 signatures required from Ireland within one year of May 15, 2019
Leaked EU Report shows benefits of ending airlines tax breaks.

A group of students from across the EU are seeking one million signatures supporting an end to the kerosene tax exemption for aviation within the EU. The supporters are invoking an EU Instrument that allows citizens to suggest concrete legal changes in any field where the European Commission has power to legislate.

PRESS RELEASE - FRIENDS OF THE IRISH ENVIRONMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 June, 2019

European Citizens’ Initiative seeks end to aviation fuel tax exemption
8250 signatures required from Ireland within one year of May 15, 2019
Leaked EU Report shows benefits of ending airlines tax breaks

A group of students from across the EU are seeking one million signatures supporting an end to the kerosene tax exemption for aviation within the EU. The supporters are invoking an EU Instrument that allows citizens to suggest concrete legal changes in any field where the European Commission has power to legislate.

In order to be accepted, a minimum number of signatures from each member state must be registered. For Ireland, 8250 signatures will be required within one year of May 15, 2019 or the Initiative will fail.

The supporters of the Initiative say the fact that airlines pay no fuel tax has led to emissions from flying in Europe rising by 21% over the past 3 years – far outstripping the rise in any other EU emissions source.

Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE], who are seeking support for initiative in Ireland from other NGOs and the public, said that ‘plane tickets prices are very attractive only because of the unjustified tax advantages for the aviation industry. Train tickets remain considerably more expensive giving the aviation sector a competitive advantage which undermines our emission reduction objectives.’

A previously unpublished EU Report from 2018 leaked to the Brussels-based Transport & Environment showed the impact on consumers of the introduction of a tax on kerosene as ‘minimal’. Low cost carriers account for over 50% of the intra-EU market with an average one-way ticket price of €80. If the cost is assumed to be passed on to the consumer, a €0.33 per litre kerosene tax on an average intra EU flight would add €14 to the ticket price.

The Report was prepared following a commitment in the EU’s 2015 Aviation Strategy to examine the status of aviation taxation in Europe. It calculates that taxing aviation kerosene sold in Europe would cut aviation emissions by 11% (16.4 million tonnes of CO2) and would have no net impact on jobs or the economy as a whole while raising almost €27 billion in revenues every year.

The supporters of the Initiative propose a ‘regressive tax’, meaning the shorter the flight, the higher the tax rate would be because there are more transport alternatives available for short flights. The tax exemptions for flights to and from islands would remain.

They recommend using the tax revenue to improve long-distance railways across Europe and to make green transport options more affordable. Kerosene uplifted for domestic aviation is already taxed in a number of states including Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The reduction in carbon emissions through kerosene taxation would be equivalent to removing almost 8 million cars from our roads, according to Transport & Environment. They said the Study, finalised last year but yet to be made public, ‘debunks the industry’s myth that the economy would be irreparably damaged if airlines were required to pay excise duty on the fuel they burn’.

FIE is seeking the support of other Irish NGOs through their social networks as well as reaching out to members of the Irish public to spread the word.

Direct link to the petition:
https://eci.ec.europa.eu/008/public/#/initiative
website:
https://www.endingaviationfueltaxexemption.eu/
Transport and Environment Briefing Note on leaked Report
https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/2019_05_Tax_report_briefing_web_0.pdf

FIE Contacts
Tony Lowes, FIE +353 (0)27 74771 / +353 (0)87 2176316
Daithí Ó hÉalaithe (Irish language) +353 (0)87 6178852

Copyright © 2019 Friends of the Irish Environment, All rights reserved.
Press Release

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