No zero-emissions tariff for air traffic to the Canary Islands

by Lorraine Williamson
zero-emissions tariff excempt


LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – The Canary Islands are exempt from the European zero-emissions tariff for air transport. Therefore, flight arrivals do not have to pay the tax on aviation fuel consumption that the EU wants to introduce. 

The European Parliament supports this exception until 2030. With this, the Parliament recognises “the economic dependence and mobility of air and sea connections”. It is a relief for the archipelago’s tourism industry. This most important contributor to the economy of the islands will not see air connections threatened for the time being. 

Outermost regions 

On a proposal from the Canary Islands, the European Parliament has spoken out in favour of the outermost regions (ORs). Moreover, these are;

  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Réunion (France)
  • Saint Martin (France)
  • Azores (Portugal)
  • Madeira (Portugal)
  • Canary Islands (Spain)

These areas are therefore exempt from the aforementioned zero-emissions tariff until 2030. 

Unique treatment 

“This process reinforces the unique treatment of and respect for the specificities of the outermost regions in the transition to the EU’s decarbonisation. This unique treatment of the Atlantic archipelago is based on both its remoteness and insularity. The economic and mobility dependency of air and sea connections also weighs in, in particular, because of the weight that sectors such as tourism and the distance to the European continent have on them,” the Canary government said in a statement on the decision. 

Connectivity must be guaranteed 

Connectivity between these regions and the 27 countries that make up the European Economic Area, as well as Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland must be guaranteed. To this end, an amendment has been made to the directive that regulates the trade in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for air connections. However, this directive has yet to be ratified by the European Council and the European Commission. 

Also read: CO2 emissions in Spain fall below 1990 levels

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