The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has impelled Luxembourg, the wealthiest among its 30 member states, to increase fuel taxes in order to discourage “fuel tourism” and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Placed between Germany, Belgium and France, with its comparatively lower gas prices, Luxembourg attracts many drivers coming to the Grand Duchy to refill their fuel tanks.
Despite its goal to cut emissions by 28%, Luxembourg produced the same amount of greenhouse gases in 2007 as in 1990, and the road transport is mainly the reason of the increased CO2 emissions, the OECD said. The recommended increase of the gasoline and diesel prices in line with neighboring countries, as part of green tax reform, should discourage “fuel tourists” from coming to Luxembourg.
In addition to greenhouse emissions, Luxembourg also produces more municipal waste than most other OECD states.
The OECD Environmental Performance Review of Luxembourg also points out that at least 40% of surface water in that country may not meet the 2015 European water target for chemical and biological quality.
Environmental issues of the wealthiest country in the world are not on the agenda for the first time. A decade ago, Luxembourg was one of three countries that have failed to reflect all the European Union's requirements in relation to national action plans to fight nitrate pollution of waters. At that time, the Grand Duchy was also criticized by European Commission for the insufficient monitoring of its waters.
“The environment should be part of a comprehensive strategy to relaunch economic growth and to restructure the economy.” said the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, and suggested the French experience with “Le Grenelle Environnement” as an inspiring model for mobilizing public opinion in favor of a national environment plan.