Vandaag stemde het EP in met een rapport dat voorstelt om personenwagens die meer milieuhinder veroorzaken zwaarder te belasten. De Europese Groene Fractie is hiermee erg opgetogen en hoopt dat de Raad van Ministers deze boodschap goed begrepen heeft. De aanschaf en het gebruik van sterk vervuilende en zwaar verbruikende modellen moeten worden ontraden.
Het is jammer dat het EP ermee akkoord gaat om de registratiebelasting af te schaffen. Ook dat is immers een ontradende factor voor het gebruik van de wagen. Nederland, Denemarken en Groot-Brittannië zullen er in de Raad voor pleiten deze taks te laten bestaan.
Inmiddels wordt duidelijk dat de industrie er onvoldoende tot niet in slaagt om zelf stappen te ondernemen naar milieuvriendelijker wagens. Duidelijke emissiedrempels en goed omschreven belastingen zouden haar tot iets meer actie kunnen aansporen.
Taxing car pollution
EU taxes must penalise gaz-guzzlers for the fumes they belch
Following the adoption by the European Parliament today of a report proposing an EU passenger car tax scheme, which would take account of CO2 emissions (1) , Green MEP Claude Turmes said:
"With emissions from road transport continuing to rise, undermining progress in other sectors towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is clearly a need for concrete measures to promote more fuel-efficient vehicles. The decision by the European Parliament to support an over-proportional link between the CO2 emissions of cars and taxation sends an important message to the Council on how deal with vehicle emissions. EU car taxes should penalise gas-guzzlers for the fumes they belch and discourage the purchase of heavy fuel-consuming vehicles.
"Thankfully, proposals by the German EPP to seriously restrict the tax differentiation between fuel-efficient and -inefficient cars (2) , which would have neutralised those sections of the proposed car tax scheme aimed at promoting fuel-efficient cars, were defeated in spite of heavy lobbying from the German car industry."
Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi added:
"It is regrettable that the Parliament approved the proposal to scrap registration taxes, as registration tax is an important tool in influencing consumer behaviour and discouraging car-purchase. However, we are hopeful that the Council will reject this proposal, as some governments have already indicated they will do (UK, Denmark and the Netherlands).
"Only last week it emerged that the car manufacturing industry is falling short of its commitments to improve car fuel efficiency under a voluntary agreement signed by ACEA (the European car manufacturers association) (3) . The softly, softly approach to vehicles emissions has failed. We need effective emissions caps and taxation schemes, which promote fuel-efficient vehicles if we are to tackle the climate change damage of road transport and encourage consumers, like the Commission President, to steer clear of gas-guzzling monsters."
(1) The Riis-Jørgensen report on passenger car taxation was adopted by the European Parliament on Tuesday, 5 September. The report is based on a proposal by the Commission - COM(2005)261 - which included proposals for tackling CO2 emissions by vehicles.
(2) Amendments 10 and 19, calling for a strictly linear approach to car taxes, which would have resulted in the tax differentiation between fuel-efficient and inefficient cars being seriously limited, were clearly defeated.
(3) The Commission criticised the car industry on Tuesday, 29 August, for slow progress towards meeting its commitments to cut average CO2 emissions to 140g/km by 2008/9. The slow progress means it is unlikely that this target will be met.