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Theme I. Characteristics of national aviation taxes

This session will cover different types of flight ticket taxes in the EU and the policy choices that should be made when implementing it. The sessions will pay attention to the obstacles that are faced and how would a ideal situation look like. This ideal situation will be put into perspective of the current situation and we will try to discover which further steps could be taken.

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First session (Thursday)

The workshop starts by presenting the status quo of aviation taxation in EU countries. Specific attention will be paid to the aviation tax in place in the United Kingdom and Germany. The former has a relatively longer track record of taxing aviation, whereas the system of the latter is similar to the taxation scheme in Austria and Sweden. In this part of the workshop representatives from both countries will explain what the reasons were for choosing these particular systems and identify obstacles they faced in the implementation of the tax. In the second part of this session, we will investigate the theoretically ‘ideal’ manner of taxing aviation in Europe. The group will discuss what this ideal situation would look like, and which elements are important to take into account.

Second session (Friday)

In this session we will continue discussing the initiatives that have been developed internationally, and specific attention will be paid to practical solutions for the short term. This involves discussing the initiatives that are currently operational, what type of EU initiatives could be imagined as a potential addition to this, and how that should take place. In answering the last question extra attention will be paid to governance, the type of involvement of countries, evaluation of effects, etc.

Introductions by: Mark Bressers , Dutch Emission Authority (Moderator), Wing Edmundson, HM Treasury and Revenues, UK, H Gerda Koszinowski, Bundesfinanzministerium, Jasper Faber, CE Delft, Marc Gren, Finansdepartementet, Sweden, Peter Forsyth, Monash University, Melbourne

Papers: Summary Economic and environmental effects of an aviation tax (CE Delft), Robust eligibility criteria essential for new global scheme to offset aviation emissions (New Climate Institute of Berlin)

Theme II. Taxing aviation fuels intra Europe

This parallel will focus on the legal and economic aspects of a fuel tax for aviation. The possibility of taxing aviation fuels in light of different relevant agreements and treaties will be examined. Furthermore, the economic aspects of a tax on aviation fuels will be discussed, such as whether or not a tax on aviation fuels is the right instrument to internalise these costs and how to deal with (potential) border effects.

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The goal of the session is to identify how to tackle the potential (legal) obstacles and to identify steps that Member States can take in the short term to be able to implement an aviation fuel tax in the longer run.

First session (Thursday)

The workshop starts by looking at the possibility of taxing aviation fuels. The session will focus both on the legal aspects of a fuel tax as well as on the economic aspects. Important legal obstacles that will be discussed during this parallel session are the possibility of taxing fuel in light of bilateral air services agreements, the Chicago Convention, ECAA and Open Skies Agreement and the European Energy Tax Directive? Furthermore, we will discuss the economic aspects of a tax on fuel, such as the external costs of aviation, the height of the tax if it were to internalise the external costs, whether or not a tax on fuel is the right instrument to internalise these costs and how to deal with (potential) border effects.

Second session (Friday)

The focus of the session on day 2 will be how to tackle the potential legal obstacles identified on day 1. At the end of this session we will have identified steps that Member States can take in the short term that are necessary to be able to implement an aviation fuel tax in the longer run

Introductions by: Prof. Dr. Weishaar (moderator), University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Prof. Dr. Fichert, Hochschule Worms, Germany, Prof. Dr. Echkard Pache, Universität Würzburg, Germany and Prof. Dr. Strand , University of Oslo

Papers: Taxing aviation fuels in the EU (CE Delft), Border tax adjustments (Steven Smith, University College London), Planes, ships and taxes: charging for international, aviation and maritime emissions (World Bank) examples of aviation treaties

Theme III. A coordinated approach to carbon taxation in the ETS sectors

The focus of this workshop will be on exploring opportunities for a coordinated approach on improving carbon pricing. This is in line with the “Statement to strengthen and extend carbon pricing in Europe” signed by several European member states at the COP 24 in Katowice. Cooperation at international level is often essential and could increase the economic and climate effectiveness of carbon pricing.

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In the Katowice statement to strengthen and extend carbon pricing in Europe it is mentioned that carbon pricing, along with supporting policies and measures, is essential to provide economic agents with a clear long-term signal to incentivize cost-effective GHG emissions reductions and to disincentivize new investments in carbon intensive technologies without near-term abatement potential. The EU ETS is playing a significant role in this respect. The recent reform of the European carbon market (EU ETS) is a step in the right direction. However, only 52% of all EU-emissions are covered by an explicit carbon price, and in some cases the carbon price can be too low and/or too volatile to trigger effective decarbonization. In order to reach the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement, enhanced measures should be taken to strengthen the carbon price signal, to improve overall ambition, coverage, and predictability.

First session (Thursday)

The EC will give an overview of the current EU-ETS including the recent reforms. Canada will present their recently implemented carbon price mechanism. The interaction between the federal and regional level will be included in the presentation. The Netherlands will present the recent initiatives on improving carbon pricing.

Second session (Friday)

The focus on day 2 will be on how to improve carbon pricing in industry and electricity sectors. Finland will present their ideas on strengthening carbon pricing within the ETS as a follow-up on the presentation of the EC in the first session. The Oko institute will discuss opportunities for a coordinated approach of member states of the EU on additional carbon pricing, also looking at lessons that can be learned from the Canadian approach on carbon pricing.

Introductions by: Kurt van Dender, OECD (moderator), Beatriz Yordi, DG Clima, European Commission, Felix Mathess, Member of Coal Commission Deutschland, Markku Ollikainen, University of Helsinki, Timon Verheule, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

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Key note speakers

Theme I. Characteristics of national aviation taxes

Theme II. Taxing aviation fuels intra Europe

Theme III. A coordinated approach to carbon taxation in the ETS sectors

Conference on carbon pricing and aviation taxes

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Because of the theme of the conference, the diners and lunches during the conference are all vegetarian.
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