UIRR on Energy Taxation Directive 24/10/11

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Commission’s Energy Taxation Proposal Will Bring Fair Competition

UIRR endorses the Commission proposal, which envisions several positive changes to the European Directive which regulates minimum excise taxation on fossil fuels, such as:

- Introduction of much needed transparency,

- Abolition of anti-competitive (“special”) excise tax discounts and rebates, and

- Internalisation of CO2 emissions released when burning fossil fuels.

The Transport Committee (TRAN) of the European Parliament commenced the deliberation of the European Commission’s proposal on energy taxation a week ago.  UIRR issued a position paper[1] today on the proposed amendment, which falls largely in line with UIRR’s overall position as expressed in a comprehensive position paper in December 2010[2].  Four points to consider in the legislative process have been named:

- Add a price component for nitrous oxide emissions alongside CO2 as this greenhouse gas is also generated in considerable amounts in transport;

- Increase the price of CO2 (proposed as €20/t) in light of results produced when calculating the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC);

- Create an additional internalisation category that describes the increased dependency on fossil fuels, and

- Revise the blanket exemption of navigation from under the force of the Directive to create fair competitive conditions by allowing the gradual inclusion of those branches (coastal and inland navigation) which have inland transport alternatives.

“Abolishing the special tax refund available for traction diesel purchases to railways in several Member States could act as an additional motivation for expanding much needed electrification projects.” – said UIRR Executive Chairman, Rudy Colle,  on the occasion.

Road-Rail Combined Transport (CT) is a system of freight forwarding which is based upon inserting economically and ecologically sustainable electric rail into long-distance (road) transport-chains through the use of intermodal loading units[3] (ILU).  The shifting of loads between modes takes place quickly and efficiently at transhipment terminals.  CT offers the competitive combination of the flexibility of road transport  –  used in the  positioning legs of ILUs  –  with the energy efficiency, extreme low greenhouse gas emissions and superior safety record of electric rail traction over long distances.


[1] http://uirr.com/en/media-centre/press-releases-and-position-papers/2011/mediacentre/478-uirr-on-energy-taxation-directive.html

[2] http://uirr.com/en/media-centre/press-releases-and-position-papers/2010/mediacentre/403-pos-pap-infra-externalities-fair-competition.html

[3] ILU=swap-bodies, containers and semi-trailers

Related documents
UIRR on Energy Taxation EN
Press Release: Commission's Energy Taxation Proposal will Bring Fair Competition EN