A fit-for-purpose Emissions Trading System essential to help the tourism industry go green

As part of the Fit for 55 package, the European Commission issued a proposal to revise the Directive on Emission Trading System (ETS) (COM (2021) 551 final). The proposal includes a chapter dedicated to buildings and transport (both business and private) as a way to reach less than 55% of carbon emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This separate upstream system will regulate fuel suppliers (rather than households and car drivers). According to the Commission proposal, both private households and businesses needed to contribute their fair share. We considered this a fair approach.

HOTREC is, nevertheless, extremely concerned with the result of the vote by the European Parliament at its plenary meeting on 22 June 2022, as MEPs decided the ETS II will apply initially only to commercial buildings and commercial road transport activities, starting in 2025. The system could then possibly be extended to private activities related to these sectors (i.e. households), from 2029 onwards, depending on the results of a prior impact assessment by the Commission. In addition, we also don’t agree that national taxation and charges for carbon emissions can be added on top of the new EU ETS charge.

As it stands, the private tourism sector will not be able to cope with the extra costs, while bankruptcies will continue to proliferate. A fit-for-purpose ETS needs a universal set price for CO2 to foster the greening of both vehicles and buildings and a one-stop shop for pricing CO2 emissions.

At the same time, we welcome that the Council’s general approach is close to the Commission proposal and added a temporary possibility for member states to exempt suppliers from the surrender of allowances until December 2030, if they are subject to a carbon tax at the national level, the level of which is equivalent or higher than the auction price for allowances in the ETS for the buildings and transport sector.

We also advocate that ETS revenues are used to support the green transition through support to technologies that contribute to energy, resource savings and pollution reduction.

Both companies, especially SMEs, and private householders should have easy access to the Social Climate Fund for the necessary infrastructural changes to be implemented.

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