Portugal to impose carbon tax on air, sea travelers

The Portuguese government decreed Tuesday to levy a carbon tax of 2 euros (2.42 U.S. dollars) per passenger on air or sea travel starting July.

The tax is levied on departure air passengers and the owners of passenger ships berthing at terminals located in mainland Portugal, apart from exceptional conditions, according to the decree published Tuesday.

The measure of reducing carbon dioxide emissions is in line with Portugal’s strategy of moving to a more sustainable economy, said the government decree.

International institutions including the European Commission and the United Nations have “emphasized the importance of providing states with the necessary means” to respond to environmental challenges, which is another basis for imposing the tax, it said.

In 2019, Portuguese greenhouse gas emissions from air transport accounted for more than 3 percent in the European Union, and have increased by 70 percent since 2005, it noted.

Levying carbon taxes is “the most balanced solution” between environmental gains and economic consequences, it said.