Aena’s president, Mauritius Lucena, proudly defended two days ago that Spanish airports have the lowest rates in Europe, a key point in attracting airlines, visitors and money. That, however, may be about to change: The Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that it is planning to introduce a special air transportation tax within a green taxation strategy, which also includes fees for plastic packaging of a disposable. The department released the texts yesterday with both proposals so that “the most representative organizations and associations potentially affected by the future rule” and “any citizen” who wants to, can send their comments to the government regarding it.
The measures, the ministry says, are in line with the recommendations issued by the European Commission, which said that Spain has room for green taxation. In fact, they remember that Spain is in the last positions of the EU in environmental revenue. With data from 2017, it is the fifth lowest percentage of revenue of this type: 1.8% of GDP compared to an average of the European Union of 2.4%.
Encourage alternatives to aircraft
Air transportation tax is raised from the perspective – proposal makers say – airplanes are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. “The purpose of this levy, which should take into account the island factor, is to encourage the use of more environmentally friendly and sustainable means of transport, as an incentive to explore new technologies and less polluting fuels. “, They explain from the ministry. In addition, they argue, the application of the levy would allow the country to increase the contribution of environmental taxes to public revenues and encourage compliance with the commitments it has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To round off the argument, they draw from the closest examples: Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or Austria apply airfare.
In Catalonia, a tax was created in 2014 on the emission of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere produced by aviation, a tax that in 2018 raised 4.5 million euros.
The airline industry has long argued that increasing ticket prices is not the answer to polluting emissions.
As for plastic packaging, the idea is to reduce the consumption of these products to limit “their impact on the environment and human health,” the document justifies. According to 2017 data, there are 1.6 million tons of waste from plastic packaging, which puts the country at pre-crisis levels. Thus, the aim is to moderate the number of units in the market and reduce their consumption. “This measure must also be to foster new business models and encourage more sustainable production and consumption,” adds Treasury.