European Flight Passengers to Pay New Tax for Carbon Trading

27 October 2008
Paying more of our hard earned money to fly is one thing. But knowing that the extra cash is doing absolutely nothing for the environment is even harder to swallow.

The EU's European Council has adopted a new directive last Friday, forcing the global aviation industry to join its Carbon Emission Trading System (ETS) from 2012.

This means that by 2012, all flights arriving or departing from 27 EU airports will be forced to participate in the largest global Greenhouse Gas emission trading system, initiated in 2005 in an effort to curb global warming. For us, this means more expensive flights.

The scheme will affect at least 87 major airlines in the EU, of which, more than half are located outside the EU zone, affecting things globally.

But Carbon Trading has its flaws: doing absolutely nothing except taking money from one person/company and giving it to another is not only unlikely to 'reduce emissions per flight' by any significant margins, but it's like paying tax for tobacco: it does not address the heart of the problem. We will still have to fly, just at a higher price.

The greed of airline executives and others involved mean that those 'carbon offsetting' option you see on most airline websites will soon become compulsory. Combined with an ever decreasing supply in oil, airfares will continue to skyrocket. Higher prices equals less flights, less flights = less passengers, and less business = less jobs and employment. A recent sharp jump of unemployment to 5.7% must not be high enough, just as EU politicians must not be wealthy enough.

The world is polluted, and global warming needs to be tackled (Al Gore and ManBearPig are already working on that). But maybe the focus instead of turning consumers off from flying should remain on finding more practical alternative energy that can fly tens of thousands of aircrafts a day across the oceans at 500 miles per hour, or design more efficient planes that do cut down on carbon footprint.

[Red, Green & Blue]


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