Catalonia introduces carbon tax for polluting vehicles


The Catalan regional government is about to introduce a carbon tax on cars, vans and motorcycles. Catalonia will thus be the first region in Spain to ask owners of climate-harming vehicles to pay. Taxation is to come in retroactively for 2019 already.

Thus Catalonia wants to levy the carbon tax for 2019 for the first time in November 2020. It will then initially apply to vehicles emitting 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre or more. Vehicles that emit more than 95 g CO2 per kilometre will then be taxed for 2020. In practice, owners of a Porsche Cayenne with CO2 emissions of 265 g/km, for example, will have to pay a tax of €127 for 2019 and €176 for the following year.

Electric cars are, of course, exempt from this tax. In fact, electric vehicles have been freed from road toll in Catalonia since 2015 and are enjoying other privileges such as free parking or access to bus lanes already.

For the new carbon tax coming in, the government expects to add about 150 million euros a year to its budgets. It will affect 3.6 million cars and vans and nearly 500,000 motorcycles, the latter from 2021. The tax collection will go to a climate change fund related to natural heritage and biodiversity.

The Catalan executive has approved the bill with some modifications regarding the legality and has announced that it will process it in the Parliament by way of urgency so that it may become Effective before the year’s end.

Catalonia is part of the C40 initiative by the international Climate Group network. The initiative aims to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles worldwide.


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