The British government is “highly likely” to block European Commission proposals for a carbon tax contained in a widely-circulated draft version of the Energy Taxation Directive, EU diplomatic sources said yesterday (12 April).
“Without saying that we will definitely kill this thing before it is born, I think it is highly likely that we will block it,” a diplomat from one member state told EurActiv.
The draft directive, seen by EurActiv and expected to be presented today, proposes separate carbon dioxide and consumption taxes on fuel to advance the EU’s climate goals for 2020.
It would oblige member states to set minimum rates of CO2 taxes at €20 per tonne for fuel used for purposes of transport and heating, from 2013.
The tax would be automatically linked to inflation – measured every third year – and it would compel member states to institute ‘fuel-neutral’ taxation from 2020, ensuring higher taxes for energy-intensive fuel such as coal and diesel.
A litre of diesel would be taxed at 8% more than a litre of petrol under the proposals, to deter the use of gas-guzzling SUVs and pick-up trucks.
This would also entail changes to national legislation across the European Union. EurActiv understands that as late as yesterday night (12 April), several commissioners were pushing for the proposal to be postponed until 2023.