Belgium proposes to create a European tax on the aviation sector to reduce its emissions

Aviation was responsible for 3.6% of EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2016

Belgium has proposed to the other countries of the European Union the creation of a European tax that taxes the aviation sector, either through the sale of tickets or fuel consumption, with the aim of reducing the airline industry its polluting emissions and contribute to complying with the climate objectives of the EU bloc within the framework of the Paris Agreement.

In a document prepared for this meeting, the government of Belgium argues that “additional efforts” are necessary to tackle the “continued growth of emissions” of greenhouse gases in this sector and to prevent other sectors from having to compensate this increase.

“An important element of these efforts would be a fair and correct tariff for air transport,” the document said, adding that “in actuality neither kerosene nor air tickets are taxed through VAT”.

In addition, Belgium believes that a future aviation tax should take into account external costs, through the principle that “the polluter pays” and would serve to “restore fair competition with other modes of transport”.

The document also emphasizes that it would create incentives for airlines and manufacturers to invest in the appropriate measures to move towards a climate neutral economy and could cause public funds to be used to promote this transition and invest in alternative forms of transport.


The proposal is similar to another initiative presented by the Netherlands to the finance ministers of the European Union (Ecofin) in mid-February, but Belgium believes that this issue should also be discussed by those responsible for the Community’s Environment.

A report recently prepared by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Eurocontrol notes that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will increase by 21% up to 2040 compared to the levels recorded in 2017 in the base scenario, up to 198 million tons.

In the most negative scenario (increased air traffic), CO2 emissions would reach 262 million tons (60% more), while in the less harmful scenario (less air traffic), they would be cut to 134 million tons. tons (18% less).

According to the study of the three organizations, the aviation sector was responsible for 3.6% of the greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union in 2016 and represented that same year 13.4% of all emissions from the European Union. European transport sector.