Finance

‘Fast CO2 tax needed to achieve climate goals’

The more CO2 you emit, the more tax you would have to pay. Without this tax, our own climate ambitions for 2030 will not be achieved, according to research agency CE Delft.

That bureau regularly conducts research on climate issues, sometimes on behalf of the government, but in this case on its own initiative. “Time is running out,” says director Frans Rooijers. “We must emit 49 percent less CO2 by 2030. We are not on track for that.”

CE Delft advocates a starting tax of 100 euros per tonne of CO2 emissions. An average household emits about 3 tons per year.

Compensated for a while

Nevertheless, the levy initially costs citizens nothing. In the CE Delft study, the higher costs are immediately offset by a lower energy tax.

The CO2 tax will increase towards 2030. For example, housing can become considerably more expensive if you do not make your home more sustainable.

CO2 in 5 sentences

CO2 or carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases create a kind of insulation layer in the atmosphere. As a result, the temperature on the earth is warming. Due to the rapid burning of many CO2-rich raw materials such as oil and gas, the warming is happening too fast.

CE Delft uses examples to calculate from 200 to 700 euros as the price for CO2 emissions per tonne, as 2030 approaches. The CO2 tax then rises to 600 and 2100 euros respectively per year for an average household.

Entry costs nothing

This should encourage those households to take energy-saving measures quickly. In addition – especially in the case of lower incomes – supported by the government.

Rooijers: “When introduced, it will not cost the citizen anything extra. Because the energy taxes will be reduced proportionally. Then there is the incentive to save.”

The expectation is that towards 2030 the price that you have to pay for CO2 emissions will rise sharply, and with it the levy that CE Delft has in mind.

Because the European Union is also planning to use a CO2 tax to encourage citizens and companies to invest more in energy-saving measures or to switch to sustainable sources.

Takes too long

But the implementation of those plans (a trading system for CO2 allowances called the ETS) is taking far too long, according to Rooijers. All Member States have yet to have their say. This could only be introduced in 2026 – four years before the 2030 deadline. And according to CE Delft, that does not yield enough savings.

“With the European Commission’s proposal to standardize buildings and transport under a European ETS, the Netherlands will not achieve the climate targets by 2030.”

High Quality

According to CE Delft, the European plans do not give the Netherlands sufficient incentive to take measures. “The Netherlands, but also other countries with high-quality buildings and cars, are experiencing no incentive to do anything for the time being.”

Germany has already introduced a CO2 tax to provide more sustainability incentives to companies and private individuals. At 25 euros per ton, it is considerably lower than CE Delft would like to see in the Netherlands.

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