Taxation mechanisms for reducing CO2 emissions

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Avizul CESE: Taxation mechanisms for reducing CO2 emissions

Key points:

The EESC

  • believes that there are well-founded reasons to establish uniform rules within the EU to combat global warming and based on these to embark on international discussions with other trading blocs;
  • argues that there is a need to address global warming in a global, comprehensive and symmetrical way, taking into account the level of CO2 in the atmosphere;
  • deems that, in the future, it could be useful and necessary to also devise new taxation measures that can supplement the current emissions trading system and national carbon taxes in order to achieve an effective and symmetrical policy framework to tackle the increasing amount of CO2 emissions;
  • praises the Commission's approach, since it seems a good step in order to establish more effective carbon pricing throughout the economy. Such a tool should be coordinated with other additional instruments, including a new approach to taxation within the EU internal market in a coherent policy framework, as well as with other similar tools implemented in other jurisdictions worldwide;
  • encourages the Commission to undertake concrete initiatives to establish similar carbon taxes in the Member States in order to harmonise the efforts towards an effective reduction of the CO2 level. An ideal outcome should create uniform conditions across the EU single market with regard to the emissions/reductions to be taxed, as well as the specific methods and rates of taxation for an equal impact on the level of CO2 in the atmosphere;
  • believes that even with the new taxes and additional measures being implemented, global warming is likely to continue unless already-emitted CO2 can be taken out of the atmosphere;
  • encourages the development, through dedicated investments, of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies, both at the EU and national level, since they contribute to the objective of reducing the impact of CO2 emissions and, more generally, to both the sustainable development goals promoted by the UN and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change;
  • draws attention to other policy instruments for carbon reduction. These range from new technologies to land management practices, which should be encouraged and supported both at the EU and national level;
  • stresses the need for efficient measures to be implemented in a socially acceptable way for all.