International conference on carbon pricing and aviation taxes is starting

The international conference on carbon pricing and aviation taxes starts today at Madurodam in The Hague. By organising the two-day conference the Dutch government wants to move towards agreement within Europe on these taxes, which will help achieve climate goals and create a level playing field. The event is being hosted by Menno Snel, State Secretary for Finance.

Members of government from the Netherlands and other European countries will attend the conference. There will be representatives from 29 countries and from various international organisations.

Mr Snel will open the conference with a discussion on imposing duty on the aircraft fuel kerosene. ‘Tax exemption on kerosene is laid down in aviation treaties and in EU law. But the Netherlands believes that it ought to be possible to tax kerosene if we join together and make arrangements with other European countries. I want to discuss this with my colleagues. After all, it’s strange that you pay more tax on a tank of petrol for your car than on fuelling an entire aircraft.’

In preparation for the conference the Netherlands has drawn up a paper setting out the various options for taxing flights. The paper explains that it would be possible to impose tax on kerosene in Europe if fuel is taken on board prior to departure and if countries work together to reach an agreement.

If there is no European agreement by 2021, the Netherlands will introduce a national aviation tax . In addition to the bill for a minimum carbon price for electricity generation submitted this month, the government is also working on a carbon tax for industry. The effect of these measures on the environment can be magnified by making joint agreements. The creation of a level playing field would mean fewer concerns about unfair competition between countries.

The aim of the conference is to encourage a new European Commission to work on proposals for a European aviation tax, tax on kerosene and carbon pricing.

The conference, which can be followed via a live stream, includes contributions by Swedish Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson, EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici (video) French Secretary of State for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson (video) and Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. The link to the live stream and the full conference programme can be found at aviatax2019.nl