As of July 1, Portugal is charging a carbon tax for flights in private jets, with capacity for up to 19, national media RTP reported. The new law is the result of an initiative presented by the party PAN (People, Animals and Nature) in parliament, as a proposal to amend the budget for 2023, which the government accepted. According to the law establishing the new tax, “the scope of the carbon tax was changed in order to cover the consumer of air travel on aircraft with a maximum capacity of up to 19 seats”.
“We have always defended that we should relieve families and companies from a tax point of view and tax those who pollute the most”, PAN’s spokesperson, Inês Sousa Real, told radio TSF, highlighting that this tax brings justice from an environmental point of view, but also from a social point of view.
We have always defended that we should relieve families and companies from a tax point of view and tax those who pollute the most.Inês Sousa Real, PAN spokesperson
Sousa Real said the state collected more than 28 million euros with the carbon tax and the levy on private jets will allow for fiscal justice combined with social and environmental justice, since revenues relating to the carbon tax are meant to be transferred by the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) to the Environmental Fund.
However, the leader of the Bloco de Esquerda (BE), Left Bloc, Jorge Costa conducted a quick search on the internet at the prices charged on one of the most popular private jet flights in Portugal — between Faro and London — taking into account the average number of passengers on this type of flight, of nine people and reached the conclusion that “the carbon tax applied does not reach one thousandth of the billing value per passenger.”
In July 2021, the government introduced a carbon tax for passengers traveling by air, sea and river, in the amount of two euros per person, “in return for the emission of polluting gases and other negative environmental externalities caused by these means of transport “.
In December of last year, a law was passed that expanded the scope of the said tax, “determining the need for the government, from July 2023, to introduce a carbon tax for consumers of air travel on aircraft with a maximum capacity of up to 19 seats, with a scoring mechanism based on the capacity of the aircraft and the distance covered by the flight”.
According to the ordinance, the fee is levied on air travel consumers and is collected and settled “by the owner of the aircraft if it is not being operated by another entity”, “by the aircraft operator in other cases of non-commercial flights” or “by the air carriers that operate the flights and market them”.
The tax exempts all-electric aircraft, transport services covered by public service obligations, state flights, training flights, medical emergency flights carried out within the framework of the integrated medical emergency system, search and rescue flights and take-offs following landings for technical, meteorological or similar contingency reasons.
A Greenpeace report commissioned by the Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft determined that the use of private jets in Europe has increased by 64% in 2022 compared to 2021, reaching a record number of 572,806 flights, and carbon-dioxide emissions from private flights more than doubled.