News Digest Item
19 Sep 2017

Ending EU diesel tax benefits to help lower emissions – research institutes


Ending diesel tax benefits in the EU would significantly help decrease CO₂ and nitrogen oxide emissions in road transport, because diesel vehicle users are very price sensitive, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) say in a press release. In a new study, the researchers examined how fuel consumption changed with rising prices, and found that diesel vehicle drivers used much less fuel when prices increased (an increase of 20 euro cents per litre led to a 14 percent drop in consumption). Abolishing diesel tax benefits or introducing a CO₂ tax would significantly help reduce emissions. “As diesel vehicles are used especially by companies – which react very sensitively to the petrol pump prices – this is an excellent lever for the government to incentivise changes in behaviour”, said Nicolas Koch, study author and researcher at MCC.

Find the press release in English here and the study in English here.

For background, read the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy.

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