German environment minister calls for higher tax on air travel
Ahead of the climate cabinet’s next meeting, German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze is calling for “a fair CO2 price for air travel”, the Rheinische Post reports. She told the paper she was "committed to cross-border CO2 pricing in air travel," and expected “the new European Commission to make ambitious and rapid proposals in this area,” but said Germany could not wait to get every EU state on board. Following French plans to introduce an eco-tax of between 1.50 and 18 euros on flight tickets, Schulze said she was in favour of increasing German aviation tax “as a first step”. Germany has levied an aviation tax since 2011, currently at ranging from 7,38 euros to 41,49 euros per flight. The tax raised 1.2 billion euros for the federal budget in 2018.
Emissions from air travel are rising fast, and have become a focus of public attention in recent months, both in Germany and across Europe. Leading climate researchers and several politicians have called for radical steps to reduce air travel. Aviation is subject to different taxes across Europe, such as VAT on domestic flights and airport taxes, but aeroplane fuel is exempt from levies thanks to an international agreement from 1944.