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France urges Europe wide tax on airplane and ship fuel

PortandTerminal.com, October 17, 2019

“It’s incomprehensible that carbon emissions targets were set for cars and not for airplanes and ships. We propose that work is done on a European tax on airplane and ship fuel,”

PARIS, FRANCEReuters reported today that France wants the European Union (EU) to work on creating a tax on airplane and ship fuels as part of a push to rein in carbon emissions.

The announcement was made by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Tuesday this week.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire

Le Maire said the tax would complement plans supported by France and Germany for a carbon border tax that would shield European companies from competition from countries with lower emissions standards.

Fuel and goods should be taxed, in relation to their carbon footprint, rather than labour/income.

Twitter user reaction to the news

“It’s incomprehensible that carbon emissions targets were set for cars and not for airplanes and ships. We propose that work is done on a European tax on airplane and ship fuel,” Le Maire told a conference at the finance ministry.

France’s leadership on climate crisis

Rodolphe Saade, Chairman of the board and CEO of CMA CGM Group

This latest announcement falls on the heels of other efforts by the French government and industry to get ahead of the climate change crisis.

In August Rodolphe Saade, Chairman of the board and CEO of CMA CGM Group announced that it won’t use the Northern Sea Route connecting Asia to Europe through the Arctic in order to protect the fragile ecosystem there from the threat of accidents, oil pollution, and collisions with marine wildlife.

French President Emmanuel Macron

The announcement was made with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the G7 meeting of world leaders in France last summer. Since that announcement, other major maritime logistics companies have followed suit. Hapag Lloyd and most recently MSC have also said that they refuse to ship though use the North Sea Route out of concern for protecting its environment.

“As a responsible company with a longstanding nautical heritage and passion for the sea, MSC finds the disappearance of Arctic ice to be profoundly disturbing,” 

Diego Aponte, President & CEO, MSC Group

Others have also said no to the Arctic shipping route. Otto Schacht, executive vice president of sea logistics for Kuehne + Nagel, said on his LinkedIn page last month the company would not support the route. 

“No one should support shipping goods from Asia to Europe via the Arctic,” he wrote. “Whoever considers it, supports global warming.”

Vive la France.

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