IMF, World Bank eye new tax on air travel, shipping

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2011 (AFP) – The World Bank and IMF are proposing global carbon taxes on aviation and ship fuels in developed economies to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to a draft proposal seen by AFP Friday. The same report also urged governments to remove subsidies for fossil fuels in the Annex II countries, which it said were worth about $40-60 billion per year in 2005-2010.

The proposal suggests an international charge on aviation and maritime bunker fuels of $25 per ton of CO2, which it said would “reduce CO2 emissions from each sector by around five to 10 percent.”

Such a charge, if implemented well, could also bring in $250 billion in taxes in 2020, according to the report, which focuses on how funds to fight climate change can be mobilized.

The report recommends the plan for the “Annex II Countries” of the UN Climate Change Convention, including most developed economies.

The report stressed the difficulty of coordinating such a global tax, especially for bunker fuel, which ship operators can easily source in countries that would not be covered by any such agreement.