News | Published September 24 2019

Frequent flyer levy to be introduced to combat climate change

The Committee on Climate Change has advocated for the introduction of a “frequent flyer levy” in order to combat the impact of aviation emissions.

The committee has also proposed an increased tax for airlines, or a restriction on the capacity of airports, the latter of which will have a direct impact on the planned Heathrow expansion.

It is believed that aviation will be the greatest source of emission by 2050, and plans are in place to accommodate an almost 50 per cent increase in flying.

The committee has stated that the growth should instead be estimated at 25 per cent.

If these plans were to go ahead, there would be little room for growth at airports across the country.

Other options, such as the introduction of battery-powered planes for short haul journeys, and sustainable bio-fuel for long haul flights, are currently being looked into.

Aviation Environment Federation representative, Cait Hewitt, notes “British people currently take more international flights than anyone else in the world, but there’s a growing public recognition that this feels out of step with the action we need on climate change.”

The committee has suggested that there could be an up to 20 per cent reduction in emissions due to increased fuel efficiency.

However, critics suggest that it is unlikely that there will be the requisite developments for adequate biofuels in the near future.

A spokesperson for the government has said “We are also committed to setting a clear ambition for the aviation sector and will carefully consider the advice of the Committee on Climate Change when we publish our position on aviation and climate change for consultation shortly.”

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
September 24 2019

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