March 25: Climate Action at Eindhoven Airport, The Netherlands

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Last November, Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace organized a large action at Schiphol, demanding a ban on private jets and a tax for frequent flyers. We joined this action and organized follow up supporting actions at the Ministry of Infrastructure and at Schiphol Airport since then. And we will continue! On 25 March XR is organizing the next action: SOS Eindhoven Airport. Scientist Rebellion will join again!

For details see: Upcoming Events – Scientist Rebellion Netherlands and scroll down to March 25.

We cycle from Eindhoven station to the airport. Everybody is welcome, not only scientists!


There is a lot of work to do… Here is a list of the biggest CO2 emitters in NDL:

The annual greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector in the Netherlands amount to about 18 million tons of CO2 equivalent. On top of that, there are all the pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and fungicides. Not to mention the considerable risks to human health from antibiotics administered by the livestock industry and the development of multi-resistant bacteria.


Thanks for sharing!

While it is always tempting to tax the affluent, the elephant in the room is that all aviation fuel is untaxed in the EU, effectively subsidizing this form of travel. Cf car fuel taxes, which are in the ballpack of €0.5/liter (varies by country, NL is the most expensive).

The sensible solution would be a Pigouvian tax on air travel, too, effectively implemented as a tax on aviation fuel. No exceptions, and you don’t need to break it down to a passenger level, levy it on kerosene directly. A private jet burns more than 1000/l of kerosene/hour; passenger airplaines burn about 10x more but the cost would be divided up among passengers.

Focusing on private jets lowers the policy impact, while focusing on frequent flyers makes effective administration difficult, if not infeasible (who collects and administers travel information on people?).


I read that the taxation of fuel for international flights is prohibited by the Chicago International Convention, signed in 1944. This convention is difficult to amend, it would require a unanimous vote of the 191 member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

However, this convention could be circumvented by bilateral agreements.

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It is often suggested that the Chicago Convention exempts aviation fuel from taxation. However, the Chicago Convention only exempts fuels already on board aircraft when landing, and retained on board when leaving, from taxation. Article 24 states: "Fuel … on board an aircraft of a contracting State, on arrival in the territory of another contracting State and retained on board on leaving the territory of that State shall be exempt from customs duty, inspection fees or similar national or local duties and charges.”
Therefore it can be seen that Article 24 does not prohibit the taxing of fuel taken on board in a particular country but rather prohibits the taxation of fuel that was already on board the plane when it landed, i.e. Member States cannot tax aviation fuel purchased in another country that arrives on board the aircraft.


Well, you could have in your yearly tax declaration a question how often did you fly, and if you were flying more than twice per year (for example) it could ask for the details of all flights. Not the perfect solution, but a possibility and something NL could implement without the risk that if you put a taxation on fuel as a single state, planes might just use other airports…

We had a good action with good coverage in the media. See for example this TV report (in Dutch):