EU considers taxing air travel
In a report that will be published next week, the European Commission claims the environmental cost of the main airports on the continent is 33 billion euro. This is seen as an additional argument in favor of a tax on air transport.
There are multiple views on how to proceed, but three options dominate. A tax on Kerosene (untaxed in the EU at the moment), a tax on tickets (like in Germany and 6 other EU member states) or tightening the European carbon emissions market. All of the measures would have a different impact.
While the different member states want to take action, they also fear the negative impact on the industry and the jobs associated.
Spain and Italy fear competition distortion and air companies leaving their country. Others want to maintain their civilians’ mobility. Germany for example, where alternatives such as rail travel are not developed enough.
For Berlin and Paris, finding a solution in line with worldwide decisions is important. For the French minister of transport, the work the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization does, has to be taken in to account for the EU measures to have a worldwide effect.
Minds are ready
“The principle that the polluter pays is applied to other industries but not to aviation. That is no longer acceptable”, says Andrew Murphy from the NGO Transport & Environment. He thinks people’s minds are now ready for measures. “There is a rise in consciousness among citizens and governments, accentuated by the green wave in the EU elections.”