The Christian Democrats party in Germany has proposed doubling taxes on domestic flights to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Connecting flights that are part of long-haul trips would be exempt from the measure, reports Travel Pulse.

The suggestion was put forth by leaders of the Christian Democrats party, who are part of a coalition that includes the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD). The proposal has specified that engines not reliant on fossil fuels would exempt from the tax.

What does the proposal focus on?

The proposal states that: “We will invest, together with the aviation industry, to make electric-powered flight standard for short-haul flights and to create synthetic fuel to achieve climate-neutrality on medium- and long-haul flights.” The decision to instate these taxes comes in the face of growing criticism of the aviation industry’s global contribution to carbon dioxide.  

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Germany’s governing coalition might unveil a sweeping climate package later this month. This may include expanded grants for electric car buyers, encouraged train use and increased taxes for those operating polluting vehicles.

The aviation industry has significantly contributed to carbon emissions

Earlier this year, travel company ‘Responsible Travel’ issued a manifesto on aviation and climate change. The manifesto called the aviation industry one of the fastest-growing contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. It also challenged governments around the world to take actions to reduce demand for flying through more taxes.

Back in May, the CEO of Responsible Travel, Justin Francis, spoke about this issue in an interview saying: “As the world focuses in on reducing carbon emissions aviation is getting a free ride. This has to stop if we are to keep global warming below 1.5 percent.” If aviation was a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter of CO2 in the world, just behind Germany. 

There is also an anticipated rise in global air passengers. Based on this the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) predicts that aviation emissions are expected to grow by up to 300 per cent by 2050.

 

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