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Higher carbon tax is a reality

A carbon tax is a tax on the use of fossil fuels such as oil, petrol, diesel, gas, coal and peat; anything that produces CO2 when it’s burned.

Image compliments of: The Irish Petroleum Industry Association

In Ireland, prior to Budget 2020 the carbon tax was levied at €20 per tonne of CO2.
Then in Budget 2020 – the Carbon tax on diesel and petrol was increased at midnight on 8th October 2019. Increasing by €6 a tonne – this resulted in a price rise of about 2c per litre.

The agreed document proposals for the next Government has carbon tax increasing by €7.50 cent per tonne per annum up to 2019.That €60, taking it up to €88 per tonne over the next eight annual budgets. This means that the existing Government target of €87.50c per tonne by 2030, will be exceeded and be closer 100 per tonne per annum.

According to the ESRI, the real cost of carbon, if accounting for its warming impact, is likely somewhere in the range of €150 – €200 per tonne, which, if implemented, would drastically increase our gas, driving and heating costs.

At the moment the carbon tax adds about 6.5 cent of every litre of petrol and diesel. In addition, this is on top of VAT and excise duty which add another 80 cent or so to a litre of petrol and 70 cent to a litre of diesel.

Based on the fact that the average Irish motorist drives around 17,000km a year in a petrol vehicle and 24,000km in a diesel vehicle, the current carbon tax after Budget 2020, is adding around €61 a year to your driving costs if you have a petrol car and €72 a year if you’re driving a diesel car (based on 5.5 litres per 100km for petrol vehicles and 4.6 litres per 100km for diesel). This example is taken from

If the three parties form the next Government, we can clearly expect taxation on petrol and diesel to be on the rise. And, remember that current crude oil prices are relatively low, and consequently refined petrol and diesel arriving here with pre-tax prices are likely to rise. As Irish tax makes up single largest component of the pump price, carbon taxes may only be part of the bigger equation.

How much carbon is in auto fuels?

How to calculate the CO2 emission from the fuel consumption?

1 liter of diesel weighs 835 grammes. Diesel consist for 86,2% of carbon, or 720 grammes of carbon per liter diesel. In order to combust this carbon to CO2, 1920 grammes of oxygen is needed. The sum is then 720 + 1920 = 2640 grammes of CO2/liter diesel.

An average consumption of 5 liters/100 km then corresponds to 5 l x 2640 g/l / 100 (per km) = 132 g CO2/km.

1 liter of petrol weighs 750 grammes. Petrol consists for 87% of carbon, or 652 grammes of carbon per liter of petrol. In order to combust this carbon to CO2, 1740 grammes of oxygen is needed. The sum is then 652 + 1740 = 2392 grammes of CO2/liter of petrol.

An average consumption of 5 liters/100 km then corresponds to 5 l x 2392 g/l / 100 (per km) = 120 g CO2/km.

1 liter of LPG weighs 550 grammes. LPG consists for 82,5% of carbon, or 454 grammes of carbon per liter of LPG. In order to combust this carbon to CO2, 1211 grammes of oxygen is needed. The sum is then 454 + 1211 = 1665 grammes of CO2/liter of LPG.

An average consumption of 5 liters / 100 km then corresponds to 5 l x 1665 g/l / 100 (per km) = 83 g of CO2/km.

CNG is a gaseous fuel (natural gas), stored under high pressure. Consequently, the consumption can be expressed in Nm3/100km, but also in kg/100km. Nm3 stands for a cubic meter under normal conditions (1 atm and 0 ┬░ C). Consumption of natural gas vehicles is, however, most often expressed in kg/100km.

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