Hello and welcome...
A year has passed since Green Budget Europe (GBE) was established as an independent organisation. Today, following the launch of our new website and twitter stream, we are delighted to introduce our regular newsletter. It's full of news on developments in green fiscal reform, updates on our advocacy work as well as a few words on developments over the last twelve months in our expanding team and membership.
We hope you find it informative and interesting, and of course, we would welcome your feedback.
Dieselgate highlights need for harmonising diesel and petrol taxes
Subsidising diesel through lower tax rates has made Europe's air pollution problem worse. GBE has called for harmonising diesel and petrol taxes in recent weeks in a letter to the Financial Times and an op ed in The Irish Times. Meanwhile, as part of a €7.2bn tax shift, Belgium will equalise diesel and petrol taxes by 2018. France also announced its intention to bridge the gap between diesel and petrol taxes by 2020.
- GBE and Transport & Environment policy briefing on how to cut diesel tax competition by adopting the US/Canada IFTA model for trucks.
- Transport & Environment study on the subsidisation of diesel across Europe.
Luxembourg: Europe's worst offender on fuel subsidies per capita
GBE has highlighted the inconvenient truth that Luxembourg, holder of the EU presidency in the run up to the Paris climate conference, is Europe's most aggressive subsidiser of fossil fuels per person.
See: Euractiv article; Climate Home article
More developments on reducing harmful subsidies:
Will Spain's next government go green?
In the run up to Spain's general election next month, a GBE conference in Madrid in October highlighted opportunities for the next government in the field of environmental fiscal reform (EFR).
- Event web page and media coverage (ES/EN)
- GBE study on the positive effects that EFR would have on the economic recovery in Spain (ES)
- Op Ed by Constanze Adolf, GBE vice-director for Spanish news network EFE (ES)
- Report chapter on developments and opportunities for ecological tax reform in Spain, by GBE board member Eike Meyer (EN)
Greener budgets must remain central to European Semester process
The European Commission's annual assessment and advice to member states on budgetry policy, known as the European Semester, unexpectedly dropped references to green fiscal reform this year. Time to get back on track says GBE.
Paris climate deal will not include global carbon price
UN Climate chief admits a deal to be agreed in Paris will not be able to come up with a global carbon price. See article.
- A World Bank-backed panel of national leaders, policy makers and figures from business united last month in a call for a global price on carbon. See press release
- The UK could shut down all its coal-fired power plants by 2023. See article
GBE is supporting an initiative by Bank Track calling on banks to stop financing coal ahead of the Paris climate conference.
Welcome to the Green Budget Europe network
The Alpine Initiative, a key influencer on Swiss and Alpine Transport Policy, is the 11th organisation to join Green Budget Europe's membership. Meanwhile we are proud to announce new partnerships with two environmental networks, the Green Fiscal Policy Network (GFPN) and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP). João Joanaz de Melo, Professor at the New University of Lisbon, has joined our advisory committee and the Brussels team has expanded to include Birgitte Malz, Mauro Anastasio and Klaus Röhrig - respectively Executive Assistant, Communications Assistant and Policy Assistant. Rozan Consten has returned from maternity leave, taking on the new role of Policy Officer.
We would greatly appreciate your support, which allows us to continue our work promoting a greener economy.