Notwithstanding the announcements that the environmental tax on fuels will be implemented in North Macedonia from the 1st of July, until today the tax still wasn’t introduced and there are no announcements that an additional rise in fuel prices will happen in the forthcoming period. Environmental tax was announced for diesel, gasoline and other petroleum products. This, reportedly, should stimulate the citizens to install LPG devices in their vehicles and should stimulate a shift towards electric vehicles, public transportation and bicycles and scooters, with the goal to lower the air pollution and greenhouse gasses emission.
The Government said for Meta.mk that the environmental tax on petroleum products was processed in the draft law on the environment, but it is still in the parliamentary procedure. The executive power said that the implementation of this law can start immediately after its adoption by the parliament and its enactment.
Still, there is no consensus between the MP’s of the ruling and the opposition party in the Parliament concerning the introduction of the environmental tax, and the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE has been opposing fiercely these legal amendments and said it is going to block their adoption. In the meantime, the prices of petroleum products are continuing to rise as a result of the rise in the international markets. On the other hand, the Institute for Economic Research Finance Think is advising that its introduction can have a one time short-term effect on inflation and as such, the environmental tax should be gradually introduced in the forthcoming period.
The majority of imported cars that are traversing the roads use diesel
On the other hand, the latest data provided by the State Statistical Office (SSO) show that the government should take some actions, because the use of diesel in transportation is growing continuously in North Macedonia. Statistical data from 2012 shows that there were 118.109 vehicles using diesel. Contrary to this, in 2020 the number of transportation vehicles using oil i.e. diesel has increased to 278.096 vehicles. This means that in just 8 years, the number of motor transportation vehicles using oil has risen by almost 160.000.
SSO’s numbers show that the number of vehicles that are using gasoline has been dropping. Last year, the transportation vehicles that were using this type of fuel was 201.257 vehicles or 14.325 vehicles less compared with 2012. The vehicles using gasoline and LPG have risen to 12.023 vehicles, which is a minimal growth of 965 vehicles compared to 2021. The number of electric cars and other transportation means, which have a minor share in the pollution, was minor.
Otherwise, previous research has scientifically confirmed that transportation is the second largest air polluter in the cities nationwide, after the household heating during the heating season. Apart from this, the rise in the number of registered vehicles in the country, especially those with diesel engines leads to increased emissions of greenhouse gasses emanating from transportation and causing climate change. If the data from the Energy Sector is analyzed, in 1990, transportation has had a share of 8,2% in the creation of carbon dioxide, while in 2016, its percentage has increased to 28,1%.
The environmental car stickers await their implementation
Regarding the planned introduction of environmental car stickers for the cars, the red, yellow and green stickers that were supposed to be used for vehicle classification according to the degree of emission of gasses, at the moment are not functional.
On the other hand, three years have passed since the initial announcements by the executive power that the environmental car stickers will become functional, which would limit the movement of those vehicles and other transportation means that are emitting larger quantities of hazardous particles in the air during the periods with high air pollution rates.