Coronavirus redraws battle lines on airline emissions

(EurActiv, 25 Mar 2020) European airlines crippled by the coronavirus have demanded lasting relief from environmental taxes – in a move that pits their immediate survival against longer-term emissions goals.

The looming tax tussle underscores shifting environmental battle lines and a broader question for governments injecting billions into their afflicted economies: Should bailouts come before climate objectives or rather be used to advance them?

The airline sector has been fighting a losing battle against tax in Europe. Governments have imposed new levies to slow growth in traffic and emissions, while the European Union plans to begin taxing jet fuel.

“This industry is going to have more taxes, not less taxes, and I think you all know it,” the head of the EU’s transport directorate, Henrik Hololei, told airline CEOs in Brussels earlier this month.

“So you can indulge yourselves with a study of what it would be like if there were no taxes – but the reality is unfortunately much harsher.”

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EurActiv, 25 Mar 2020: Coronavirus redraws battle lines on airline emissions