France urges EU tax on airplane and ship fuel

FILE PHOTO: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a joint news conference after a meeting in Paris, France, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - France wants the European Union to work on creating a tax on airplane and ship fuels as part of a push to rein in carbon emissions, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.

Le Maire said the tax would complement plans supported by France and Germany for a carbon border tax that would shield European companies from competition from countries with lower emissions standards.

“It’s incomprehensible that carbon emissions targets were set for cars and not for airplanes and ships. We propose that work is done on a European tax on airplane and ship fuel,” Le Maire told a conference at the finance ministry.

He said France would also review its public export guarantees in line with Paris’ commitment to stop financing projects that increase the growth of carbons emissions.

The 2020 budget bill bans the French state from providing any financing for projects involving coal.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Jason Neely