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Fair CO2 prices create more fairness for market and society

Myth

Carbon pricing would needlessly increase energy costs. CO2 taxes are possible only in unison at a European level.

Facts

The climate impact of different energy sources is not currently reflected in their respective prices. Therefore a growing number of states rely on CO2 prices. Usually they set out low and grow continuously while other costs are reduced in parallel.

Leading economists, including Nicholas Stern, Joseph Stieglitz and Otmar Edenhofer, are pushing for the introduction of taxes on climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions from the fossil energy sources of coal, oil, and natural gas. Even though many states and regions are introducing such pricing tools, the level of CO2 prices is still insufficient in many states. Fossil energy subsidies remain a big obstacle for the energy transition. A progressively increasing CO2 price would have an important steering function.

In Austria the taxes on fossil energy sources are currently very heterogenic. While having the highest CO2 emissions per energy unit, coal in particular is heavily favoured; the same applies for oil heating, although it is technically at the same level as diesel. The energy taxes according to greenhouse gas emissions are for coal 18 euro per ton of CO2, for natural gas 31 €/t, heating oil 40 €/t, diesel 147 €/t and petrol 195 €/t CO2. Introducing an additional CO2 climate protection charge could make a unified tax based on individual CO2 emissions feasible; in return taxes on labour, non-wage labour costs and income could be decreased by the same amount.