IRU and EU tourism associations are calling for pragmatism in upcoming negotiations on extending the Emissions Trading System to buildings and road transport (ETS II).
European associations representing the tourism and commercial road transport sectors are calling on EU co-legislators to agree upon a fair and fit-for-purpose Emission Trading Scheme for buildings and road transport during the upcoming trilogue negotiations.
In their joint statement, the associations are asking co-legislators to consider the following elements.
An all-inclusive ETS II
It is essential that both private road transport and buildings are part of the scope at the time of entry into force of the legislation. Otherwise, the burden of the cap will apply only to businesses that are only a small portion of users.
The tourism sector, hard hit by the COVID crisis, is now facing high energy, gas, electricity and food prices. This situation, combined with labour shortages and high inflation, could harm the sector’s fragile recovery and the ETS should not further threaten this.
The same applies to the commercial road transport sector. Excluding private cars would lead to a shift away from collective passenger transport and towards an increase in private car use.
The associations fully support the Council’s all-inclusive approach and hope that the European Parliament accepts the Council’s point of view.
A realistic date to auction and surrender obligations
The Council has proposed 2027 as the date to start auctioning and 2028 as the year to start surrendering obligations. This is a more realistic timeline compared to the shorter timeframes proposed by the European Commission and by the Parliament. In short, industry needs sufficient time to adapt.
ETS II also needs to be aligned with alternative fuel infrastructure legislation currently being discussed.
Smart taxation, not multiple taxation
The tourism industry strongly disagrees with the European Parliament proposal of adding national taxation and charges to CO₂ emissions on top of the new ETS charge. This would represent an extreme burden for micro-enterprises (90% of companies in the hospitality sector) and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The associations therefore fully support the Council’s approach that takes into account multiple taxation aspects. In fact, the Council’s general approach allows EU Member States to exempt suppliers from the surrender of allowances until the end of 2030 if they are already subject to a carbon tax at national level.
The tourism and commercial road transport industries are in agreement with ETS revenues being used to support the green transition through reinvestment in the transport and buildings sector, resulting in energy and resource savings, as well as CO₂ and pollution reduction.
In addition to micro-enterprises, SMEs also need to access the Social Climate Fund for the necessary changes to be implemented. Otherwise, special funding or incentives need to be envisaged to help SMEs comply with the legislation.
The associations hope that a balanced agreement will be reached and that the European Parliament is able to support the pragmatic and sensible position of the Council on these points.