EU fuel tax subsidies worth € 1.5 billion impact climate and overfishing: report

European fishing The fleet benefits annually from a tax break of 759 to 1.5 billion euros thanks to tax subsidies on fuels, and produces nearly 7.3 million tonnes of CO2 just by burning fuel, according to a published report today through the Our Fish campaign.

The report, Climate impacts and benefits of the fishing industry from EU fuel tax subsidies, which estimates the fossil fuel tax subsidies received for the entire EU fishing fleet, and presents case studies from France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Bas, finds that destructive and energy-consuming fishing vessels benefit the most from these perverse subsidies, while the climate, fishing and artisanal fishermen suffer the consequences.

“Each year, the most destructive sectors of the EU fishing fleet are paid to produce millions of tonnes of CO2. While European citizens are supposed to pay a fuel tax to use their cars, the fishing industry avoids paying between € 759 million and more. 1.5 billion in taxes each year, ”said Rebecca Hubbard, program director of Our Fish. “These EU tax breaks not only worsen overfishing and endanger the health of the oceans, but fuel climate change, the impacts of which will further disadvantage small-scale, low-impact fishermen.”

“In the fishing industry, environmentally damaging subsidies have created a skewed system that prompts larger vessels and fleets to engage in practices that actively harm the marine environment and deplete fish stocks. already threatened “, declared Grace O’Sullivan, Member of the European Parliament, rapporteur for the 8th EU Environment Action Program. “This is unacceptable and a major obstacle to achieving the emission reductions and urgently needed corrective measures to deal with climate and biodiversity crises.”

“The European Parliament voted in favor of the 8th Environment Action Program (EAP), of which I am Parliament’s main negotiator, seeking to set a deadline of 2025 for the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies and 2027 for the phasing out of other harmful subsidies in the EU “, she continued.” The success and progress around this position now depends on the outcome of the next stage of the process, the trilogue negotiations with the Council European Union and the Commission, which are currently underway. ”

“The 8th EAP is an opportunity to see decisive binding deadlines in the EU to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies and end the practice of tax breaks and waste of public money, which add to the destruction of already vulnerable marine ecosystems, and disadvantage more sustainable and low-impact small-scale fishers, their families and communities, ”concluded O’Sullivan.

“At this point in the climate emergency, every tonne of CO2 counts. The EU has an obligation under the new European climate law to remove as much CO2 as possible in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, ”said Hubbard. “This is an opportunity to drive a rapid transition to low carbon, low impact fishing, ensuring the fishing industry pays its taxes.”

“The revised Energy Tax Directive proposes a small nominal tax for the fishing industry, but it will do nothing to stop the climate crisis or restore the overexploited and unhealthy seas of the EU. taxes for the fishing industry should be completely removed from the revised directive and all energy products taxed on the basis of their energy and carbon content. This will simultaneously increase the budget of EU Member States and help finance a transition to a more sustainable fishing industry that does not cost the planet, ”Hubbard concluded.

Source: Our fish

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