EU Plans Green Tax On Long-Haul Commercial Flights
|By Michael d'Estries in Climate Change, Travel | November 16, 2006|
In a proposed plan that has triggered fury in the US, airline passengers would pay up to £27 extra for a return ticket to cover the environmental damage caused by their flights, under European Commission proposals to address climate change. The legislation (which will be published next month) would require ‘all flights arriving or departing from European Union airports to buy permits to cover their carbon dioxide emissions.’
American airline companies (and other countries) are predictably upset about this ‘tax’ because they will have to purchase green permits to fly in and out of European airports. From the article,
“The report estimates that passengers on flights within Europe would pay an extra €9 (£6) for a ticket, with the actual sum depending on the price of the permits. Those flying long haul would pay up to €39.60 (£27).
The document says that greenhouse gas emissions from international flights from EU airports grew by 7.5 per cent between 2003 and 2004, with a cumulative growth of 87 per cent from 1990 levels. It says that aviation must be made to play its part in efforts to prevent global temperatures rising more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels.
Airlines would be required to start reporting and monitoring the emissions from 2010 in preparation for the permit scheme’s introduction in 2011.”
Pretty bold moves going on in the UK. There’s even word that the French are pushing through trade legislation for the EU that would tax countries that have not signed the Kyoto Protocol. Australia and the U.S. are set to cry. And for those wondering what good a tax on airlines will do, consider this: Aviation accounted for 5.5 per cent of total UK CO2 emissions in 2003. British Airways estimates that aviation will account for up to 46 per cent of UK CO2 emissions by 2050. Yikes.