An informal meeting of EU transport and environment ministers in Louvain-la-neuve (Belgium) on 15 September 2001, called for a global tax on aviation fuel as a tool to diminish the environmental impact of air travel. EU ministers will try to get the tax on the agenda of the assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, at the end of September.
EU transport and environment ministers call for the abolition of the tax-free status of aviation fuel. According to the EU ministers, the tax could alleviate the environmental impact of air travel, which is among the fastest growing sources of carbon dioxide emissions.
EU ministers said they would push for a tax during the general assembly meeting of the ICAO end of September. Belgian transport minister Isabelle Durant said that if the tax could not be pushed through at the ICAO meeting, the EU might undertake unilateral action, such as abolishing the tax exemption on air fuel used for internal EU flights, or a charge on air freight.
Such a tax is, however, likely to face major resistance from airlines, considering the important economic downturn in the sector which was even worsened by the security concerns raised by the terrorist attacks on the USA.