The Netherlands and Sweden’s calls for bilateral or multilateral agreements between EU countries to be a way forward to tax aviation fuel have been welcomed by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E).

Sweden’s finance minister Magdalena Andersson was speaking at a high-level conference in the Hague where European officials and the IMF, World Bank and OECD joined the chorus of those already calling for aviation pollution to be priced equally with other transport modes.

“I can see bilateral or multilateral agreements as a way of going forward,” Minister Andersson said.

The Netherlands state secretary for finance Menno Snel called for like minded member states to build on the current momentum for a level playing field on taxing transport fuels. He said that pricing aviation and fuel taxation should be on the first page of any climate action list for the new president of the European Commission.

“Member states have had a unique opportunity to assess what needs to be done about aviation’s climate impacts and it’s clear that the kid glove treatment of the sector must end – starting with stepped up taxation on fuels and tickets and a further strengthening of the ETS. The call for a level playing field on taxing fuel between sectors came across loud and clear. The fact that some 82% of carbon is yet to be taxed in the ETS and fossil fuels are subsidised to the tune of €350 billion should be a wakeup call to all,” commented Bill Hemmings, aviation director at Transport & Environment.