EU countries dilute fuel tax hike as green anger mounts

By Gabriel Gavin | 04/25/2024 06:18 AM EDT

The rollback came after capitals expressed “concerns” about the climate-friendly reforms, a document seen by POLITICO reveals.

EU countries are proposing major delays and exemptions to a fuel tax overhaul meant to push Europe toward a more climate-friendly future, wary of the growing discontent over environmental policies, according to documents seen by POLITICO.

The legislation, dubbed the Energy Taxation Directive, is meant to raise fossil fuel tax rates and drive people away from carbon-spewing energy sources — part of the EU’s attempt to hit its ambitious climate targets.

But a new draft of the bill, obtained by POLITICO, reveals that EU countries are now considering a seven-year grace period for countries to phase in the new tax rates, as well as exemptions for fishing boats and flights to and from island nations.


The changes were made because of “legitimate concerns expressed by” capitals, according to a cover sheet on the new proposal, prepared by the Belgian Council presidency, which is overseeing negotiations among EU countries during its rotating stint atop the Council of the EU.