Taxing boating to save Europe. Merkel and Macron think so


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Can boating help save European unity? It seems so. Here is what happened, as Federico Fubini reports in Corriere della Sera (May 20, page 3).

In a nine-hour meeting Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, after getting approval from the French president. Emmanuel Macron, instructed Olaf Scholz, Berlin’s finance minister, to study a form of taxation common to all EU member countries that would serve to finance a European Eurobond.


The confidential document envisages, for the first time, a common taxation by all European Union countries, managed by the Strasbourg parliament to be used to finance a bond that is, in effect the famous Eurobond that Italy has been claiming since the days of the Berlusconi governments. What will the taxation collected in common among all EU countries be used for? To launch a mighty plan of European resources for public investment. A true intervention reminiscent of the “Marshall Plan,” which served to jumpstart Europe after World War II.

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron ( wikipedia photo)


And this is where, in its very small way, boating comes in. The financing for future Eurobonds, in addition to providing for fairer taxation of digital giants (Google, Facebook, Amazon…) and the abolition of the tax havens of the Netherlands and Ireland, provides for a “green” (minimal, the confidential document states) tax called the “Emission Trading Scheme.” There are plans, in order to fund the green tax, to charge companies “for how much they pollute, to be potentially expanded ,” reads Federico Fubini’s article. to aviation and boating.”


Everything is still under study, but a very personal opinion we have. Very well if the green tax will serve to revive Europe as a whole, saving it from implosion. But, perhaps, before we get to tax boating emissions (they are 0.6 percent of greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions) there are quite a few other sectors to get involved.


The absolute pollution burden of recreational boats is very little. According to the Ipcc (the intergovernmental body on climate change under the auspices of the UN, the Epa (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and Sybass (superyacht builders’ association) with reference to 2014, out of the total 9.86 billion tons of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere (mainly carbon dioxide -CO2- and nitrogen oxides -NOx- more or less in the ratio of 10 to 1 to each other), it turns out that transportation is responsible for 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

And within this sector to “dirty” the most are, in order, shipping (the transport of goods by ship), aviation and cars, which together exceed 99.3 percent. The remaining 0.6 is “finally” the responsibility of recreation.


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