Economic Instruments for a Low-carbon Future
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Economic Instruments for a Low-carbon Future

Edited by Theodoros Zachariadis, Janet E. Milne, Mikael Skou Andersen and Hope Ashiabor

Critically assessing recent developments in environmental and tax legislation, and in particular low-carbon strategies, this timely book analyses the implementation of market-based instruments for achieving climate stabilisation objectives around the world.
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Chapter 4: VAT rules for passenger travel by air and by train in the EU

Julia Tumpel


The transport sector accounts for about a fifth of all C02 emissions. Most emissions derive from road transport (17 %), while aviation contributes about 3 % of C02 emissions. However, due to aeroplanes emitting greenhouse gases in high altitudes, the effect aviation has on climate change is proportionally larger than its share on emissions. The need for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector – road transport and aviation – is apparent. This chapter looks at the current situation regarding the taxation of passenger travel by air and train in the EU. It discusses the possibility of abolishing tax exemptions the airline industry currently enjoys as well as possible restrictions due to international law and the VAT directive.

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