Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series
Edited by Larry Kreiser, Ana Yábar Sterling, Pedro Herrera, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 9: Automobile taxation in Spain: recent reforms and future proposals
Following the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Spain committed to limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to no more than 15 per cent from the benchmark (1990) emission levels. Spain’s target for 2008–2012 is to maintain the five-year average below a 37 per cent increase on the base year. Excess emissions beyond these levels are to be balanced through carbon sink activities (2 percentage points) and the use of flexible mechanisms (20 percentage points using the Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation and International Emissions Trading). The transport sector is largely responsible for the distance between actual emissions and the Spanish target, due to its huge volume of emissions (24 per cent of total GHG emissions in 2009). Moreover, the recent evolution of road transport emissions has been negative: it is one of the few sectors that has seen its share increase in the period 2006 –2009. Moreover, this is a so-called diffuse sector, where emission control is especially difficult to measure, in contrast to big installations monitored by permit systems.
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