Carbon taxation: Ademe recommends the end of exemptions in transport

“The value of carbon established today in France through the various policies implemented are difficult to measurealthough this implicit value is much lower than the value required to achieve the effectiveness of climate policies. This is the basic postulate of the report called “Analysis of the conditions for the recovery of a reasonable carbon value” and published on 29 July by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Ademe). A topic that during the year 2021 mobilized researchers, stakeholders and public administrations that submitted their work summarized in this report.

Few prospects for the development of the European regime

This report recalls that the current European energy tax system has several limitations. In its current state, it is “does not allow enough to process and therefore to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases sectors not covered by the ETS : agriculture, construction and transport, and is still too favorable for coal and electricity consumption.

In March 2020, the European Commission launched a public consultation as part of the revision of the current directive. “However, the revision of this directive promises to be particularly difficult, because in tax matters the Council has for The European Union must act with unanimity and not with a qualified majority. Each Member State therefore has a right of veto, which makes any decision in this area very difficult, and the prospects for the development of this decision rule are very small at the moment.”

Ineffective exceptions

On a French scale, the report recommends tackle various tax exemptions, reduced rates or partial refunds which certain sectors, including transport, benefit from. “If the population doubts the environmental purpose of the tax, it is also because they are considering it not very effective in reducing emissions. (…) This sense of inefficiency is all the stronger as it is linked to a sense of injustice for those who cannot escape the tax: these exemptions relate to sectors which are the big polluters of the imagination. collective (air transport, road transport of goods, especially sea transport and agriculture).

TICPE in the viewfinder

Especially in the report’s searcher: the internal consumption tax on energy products (TICPE), which he believes makes certain actors “insensitive” for carbon taxation.
“That is the case for sectors that are completely exemptair transport except for tourist flights, sea transport and fishing, river transport, in particular, but also those benefiting from a partial refund above a minimum fare, such as road transport vehicles of more than 7.5 ton – which benefited in 2020reimbursement of diesel oil above a threshold price of 0.4519 euros per liter – and agricultural activities which benefit from a partial repayment of TICPE when purchasing off-road diesel (GNR) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

A reform in favor of the railway

Estimation of the reimbursement amount for TICPE for road transport per 1.10 billion euros, recommends Ademe its abolition or maintenance if a kilometer tax is introduced on heavy goods vehicles. “With regard to road transport, such reform is necessary to make rail transport more competitive and better internalize the costs of road infrastructure.”

Another benefit observed by the report: a reduction in the distortion of competition to that extent “75 % foreign heavy goods vehicles in circulation in France does not supply fuel on the national territory and the repayment of TICPE also benefits foreign heavy goods vehicles.”

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