Poor Countries Ask for Aviation Tax to Help with Climate Adaptation


Photo via American Airlines

Poor countries are asking for a tax on all airline tickets as a means to funding their adaptation to climate change. The airlines have their own proposal, and both will be presented today as the international community comes together in Bonn, Germany at the latest round of climate negotiations.The world's poorest 49 countries told negotiators that international air passengers should pay a tax of about $6 dollars on every flight to help those nations adapt to climate change. The block of nations, know as the the least developed group of countries (LDCs), said a tax could raise up to $10 billion annually.

Aviation accounts for an estimated 2 percent of annual carbon emissions.

From the Guardian UK:

According to Benito Müller, environment director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and author of the proposal for the LDCs, said the compulsory levy would have no significant effect on global passenger numbers and would have minimal negative impact on tourism. "By contrast, it will have significant positive impacts on the development of the poorest and most vulnerable countries and communities, by avoiding climate change impacts," he said.

Air freight was deliberately not included in the proposal, said Muller, because the levy is based on the principle of individual responsibility and capability to deal with climate change.

The Airlines' Proposal
Meanwhile, some of the world's leading airlines have a proposal of their own. Air France/KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, airport operator BAA and international NGO the Climate Group have proposed that "individual airlines should obtain pollution permits in proportion to the carbon content of their annual fuel purchases."

The scheme would allow the airlines to start a trading mechanism and possibly allow it to trade emissions credits with other industries. Emissions would be determined by annual fuel purchases and the airlines' use of low-carbon alternatives. They propose that credits be auctioned off and that all the money raised would go to the UN's adaptation fund for developing nations or what looks like an offset program set up to save forests in poorer nations.

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