Mateusz Osiecki: 'A tax on kerosene for all EU countries'

#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Dr. Mateusz Osiecki, Poland

#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Dr. Mateusz Osiecki, Poland
#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Dr. Mateusz Osiecki, Poland ©

Since October 2020, Mateusz Osiecki, 29, has been lecturer at the Institute of Air and Space Law at the Lazarski University in Warsaw. Prior to that, he taught International Public Law at Lódz University where he wrote his PhD thesis on legal aspects relating to international air terrorism In 2017, Osiecki undertook a four-month research stay, funded by the DAAD, at the University of Cologne.

I have been very interested in aviation since childhood – yet I am aware that aviation must become much more environmentally friendly. As we know, air transport was hit very hard by the coronavirus crisis. My personal dream is to see aviation recover, taking on board the Green Deal adopted by the EU Commission 2019. This involves all transportation – including the civil aviation sector – reducing CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050. That’s an ambitious goal! But I am sure it is achievable. First of all, the true Single European Sky should finally be put in place so as to allow air traffic to move more smoothly. Within the EU there are still lots of different rules and procedures that cause delays at airports every day. And planes stuck on the ground with their engines running consume a lot of fuel. Standardised rules and procedures would not only reduce emissions, they would also make civil aviation more efficient and less expensive.

Even though you may not expect it from an aviation enthusiast like myself: I think a tax should be imposed on kerosene. Up to now only the Netherlands and Norway have opted to do this. In the other Member States, kerosene is the last untaxed source of energy. Taxes should be implemented wisely and gradually, but they would be a chance to stimulate the technology giants to accelerate the development of alternative technologies for aviation. Already the industry is striving to develop hydrogen-powered aircraft: the first test flights are to be launched in 15 years. Such aircraft would produce practically zero emissions and no noise.

The DAAD alumni event was a great opportunity to hear various opinions on the future of Europe – the discussions focused on sustainable development, education and post-Brexit partnership, in other words everything that will shape the lives of EU citizens in the coming years. I can’t wait to participate in the next event live!

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