Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New 'green' attack on airlines

A doubling of Air Passenger Duty is one of the suggestions being made in an effort to stifle demand for cheap air travel.

A report from Oxford University warns that the government will not be able to meet its target of a 60% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 without curbing demand for air travel.

One of the report's authors Dr Sally Cairns, quoted by the BBC, said: "Raising Air Passenger Duty would help to counter reductions in fares, which are estimated to have been responsible for at least 40% of recent avaition growth."

The report says taxation through increased passenger duty would be easier and quicker than including aviation within the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, as the Department fro Transport is suggesting.

Without action, aircraft emissions will account for about a quarter of the national total of emissions by 2050, up from around 5.5% now.

The report - Predict and Survive: Aviation, Climate Chnage and Policy - warns that the UK is becoming "air dependent" and government policies set up to tackle the issue are contradictory.

Although limiting flights might be bad for airports and airlines, other sectors of the economy such as domestic tourism would benefit, according to the report.

Project leader Dr Brenda Boardman reportedly said: "The government has to confront the contradictions in its policies. Unless the rate of growth of flights is curbed, the UK cannot fulfil its commitments on climate change."

Report by Phil Davies  

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  • Easy Taxes

    Not so much "EasyJet" more "EasyTarget and EasyTaxes" Get your head around it, it's about tax, tax and more tax. I haven't heard anyone mention about lowering taxes since the 80's,

    By Nick Cooper, Wednesday, October 18, 2006

  • This doesn't add up

    If air travel is responsible for only 5.5% of the UK's CO2 emissions, why must it be targeted for increased taxation rather than the producers of the other 94.5%? Air transport is not even the worst offender in the transport sector - road transport produces a lot more CO2. This is another example of air transport being unfairly portrayed as the CO2 villain of the piece, when the sums just don't add up.

    By Alastair Forbes, Wednesday, October 18, 2006

  • Good BUT!

    There should be an economic price paid for travel. However consider this in context. Airlines are easy targets. Single choke point big companies few players. The best approach has to be coordinated. If you are a flight leaving out of say LHR going to Milan MXP then you need to consider the trip efficiency. LHR has a lot of ground time and inefficiencies getting to the runways. Contrast this with say a small airport (like Liverpool) and you can see that there are different ways to examine the problem. The EU wants to start the Carbon Trading Scheme but in my humble opinion it is still not comprehensive. I am absolutely in agreement that the environmental cost should be factored in - but fairly for all. Consider this factoid. In the US food travels on average 1100 miles from producer to table. How much carbon is generated as a result of that? Between 30-40% of all Gas is burned at Russian well heads. Let's attack the issue sensibly without too much overhead and not another lot of political hot air. Go Hybrid! Cheers Timothy

    By Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, Wednesday, October 18, 2006

  • It works both ways

    What both the governments and other "greens" seem to ignore is that all these "cheap" flights bring 1000's of inbound tourists to the UK every year. Each one of them spends considerable sums of money whilst they are in the UK thus bolstering our economy. Throttle this trade and they will cut off far more income than will be gained by simply taxing the aviation industry. I flew on Ryanair recently and I estimate that at keast 50% of the passengers were Italians visiting the UK.

    By Jon Constantine, Wednesday, October 18, 2006

  • Political Agendas

    All the "green people's" solutions ever seem to be, is to come up with ideas for increased taxes. Their agendas seem do be one of envy and political policy, rather than a genuine desire and understanding to help the environment. Understand how businesses work, and make them work towards a cleaner and more efficient way of operating - don't just tax them to stop them flying. A stick and carrot approach is needed, and that's for the airline industry - and not for the horse and cart, as many people would appear to want.

    By Nick Cooper, Tuesday, October 17, 2006

  • Hence...Project Icarus

    This is exactly what the Institute of Travel Management's "Project Icarus" is going to tackle, by instigating programmes of carbon reduction rather than carbon off-set. The corporate travel industry needs to undertake responsible action by looking at the necessity of all travel, not just air travel, in fulfilling UK business objectives. Off-setting is an important part of responsible travel but this alone will not achieve the targets set by the government. I am delighted to see the interest in our project to date has been massive and this is indeed an encouraging sign. The implementation of increased cost through taxation will undoubtedly focus the mind of travel buyers and suppliers in an era when we all have a responsibility to manage appropriate profitability with appropriate care for our environment.

    By Paul Tilstone, Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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