This release contains data on fossil fuel subsidies in 2020 and 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumption of fossil fuels used for transport was lower in 2020 and in 2021 due to the pandemic.
In 2021, consumers of petrol paid an average effective rate of €269 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, up from €267 in 2020 (See Table 1.1 and Figure 1.1).
The average effective carbon rate on road diesel was €196 per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2021, while the average effective carbon rate for marked gas oil used in agriculture and fishing was €43 per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2021 (See Table 1.1 and Figure 1.1).
Carbon dioxide emissions from jet kerosene were charged at €3 per tonne in 2021. Commercial aviation is exempt from Excise tax but airline operators must purchase emission permits for flights covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) (See Table 1.1 and Figure 1.1).
In 2021, net energy taxes on petrol were 63 cent per litre while net energy taxes on road diesel were 53 cent per litre (See Table 1.2A and Figure 1.2).
Fossil fuel subsidies were estimated at €2.9 billion in 2021 compared with €2.5 billion in value in 2020 and €3.2 billion in 2019. The reductions in 2020 and 2021 compared with 2019 were mainly due to the fall in consumption of aviation fuel during the COVID-19 pandemic (See Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1).
Direct fossil fuel subsidies accounted for 10% of total fossil fuel subsidies in 2021 while indirect subsidies such as tax expenditures accounted for 90% (See Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1).
Figures from other CSO Environment releases show that in 2021, €3.2 billion was raised in energy taxes and €0.7 billion was spent on environmental subsidies related to energy and air emissions, while fossil fuel subsidies were €2.9 billion (See Figure 2.3).
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (20 September 2023) released Fossil Fuel Subsidies 2021.
Commenting on the release, Clare O'Hara, Statistician in the Environment and Climate Division, said: "Total fossil fuel subsidies in 2021 were €2.9 billion, a 16% increase on 2020 when fossil fuel subsidies were €2.5 billion. In 2019, fossil fuel subsidies were €3.2 billion in value. The reductions in 2020 and 2021 relative to 2019 were mainly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in less consumption of aviation fuel for commercial flights.
Jet kerosene used for commercial aviation is exempt from excise and carbon taxes. Using the excise duty for heavy oil used for air navigation as a benchmark, the amount of revenue forgone on jet kerosene in 2021 due to the tax exemption was estimated at €273 million. This compares with €634 million in 2019, before the pandemic.
Using the petrol excise duty rate as a benchmark, we estimated the amount of revenue forgone on road diesel in 2021 due to a lower excise duty rate as €395 million, compared with €368 million in 2020 and €427 million in 2019.
The highest average effective carbon rate per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2021 was €269 for petrol, up from €267 in 2020. The average effective carbon rate for road diesel was 27% lower at €196 per tonne of carbon dioxide due to the lower excise duty rate applied to this fuel. The average effective carbon rate for marked gas oil, sometimes referred to as ‘green diesel’, used in agriculture, forestry and fishing was €43 per tonne of carbon dioxide.
Average effective carbon rates for most fuels were higher in 2021 than in 2020, mainly due to increases in both carbon tax and the price of EU-ETS emission permits.
This release also contains data on net average energy taxes per litre on selected fuels. In 2021, net energy taxes on petrol were 63 cent per litre, of which 54 cent was excise duty (excluding carbon tax), 8 cent was carbon tax and 2 cent was the NORA levy. Net energy tax per litre on road diesel was 53 cent per litre.”