Greenpeace for a CO2-based bonus-malus system consisting of subsidies and taxes

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Greenpeace would like to move the possible traffic light coalitioners to a new tax policy, which should help to improve the carbon footprint of car traffic. The proposal published on Friday includes a registration tax based on CO₂ emissions and a restructuring of company car taxation as new instruments.

In addition to purchase grants for e-cars or charging stations, they are intended to help reduce emissions more quickly. Research shows that subsidies are not enough. According to them, higher energy costs would have to be compensated more through the tax system.

The environmental protection organization proposes the introduction of a CO₂-oriented tax for newly registered cars as an additional steering instrument or as part of the current vehicle tax. “Locally emission-free vehicles such as electric cars would be exempted from this, fuel-efficient vehicles would be taxed low and vehicles that are particularly harmful to the climate would be taxed heavily,” according to the concept. Their increase in price could then accelerate the switch to less climate-damaging cars together with the purchase premium for e-cars.

Austria introduced a corresponding tax at the beginning of 1992. The assessment basis was initially the standard consumption (hence the abbreviation “NoVa” for “standard consumption tax”), today it is the corresponding CO₂ emissions. It is expressly intended to have an “ecological steering effect” when purchasing motor vehicles.

From this a “bonus-malus system” could be developed, explain the environmentalists. One consequence would be “that not all taxpayers would have to pay for the e-car premiums, but primarily buyers of CO₂-intensive combustion cars”. Ultimately, this means that more direct emission reductions can be combined with the development of further sources of finance for climate protection investments.

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In addition, an end to the financial privileges for company cars that are often used privately is necessary. The actual monetary benefit for the employee is often much greater than expressed by the taxed amount, while the employer saves non-wage labor costs. Due to the high proportion of commercial vehicles in new registrations, the form of company car taxation also has a major impact on CO₂ emissions.

Company cars should be treated in the same way as private cars for tax purposes. The monetary benefit must, for example, be related to the actual use of the vehicle on the basis of the fuel costs and expanded. At the end of October, the Federal Environment Agency confirmed on the basis of a study that the “company car privilege” contradicts the goal of climate protection by promoting the use of combustion cars. Surveys commissioned by Greenpeace in Denmark and the Netherlands show a high level of acceptance of such tax instruments.


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