The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on European governments considering a Dutch proposal for an EU-wide tax on air tickets to listen to what their citizens want. IATA-commissioned research shows that air passengers want governments to encourage the development of new technologies and sustainable aviation fuels to reduce aviation carbon emissions, rather than impose ineffective “environmental” taxes.
According to the survey, the most preferred actions for governments to prioritize for managing aviation’s climate change impacts are to:
Support the development of sustainable aviation fuels (64%)
Support research and development of new technology and better operations (62%)
In contrast, environmental taxes were one of the least popular options, with just 22% support.
Commercial aviation is responsible for around 2% of annual global carbon emissions. The industry has a target to cap CO2 through carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and to cut emissions in half by 2050, compared to a 2005 benchmark. Achievement of this target ensures aviation’s compatibility with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, to limit global warming to between 1.5-2 degrees.
The public has little faith in government’s spending environmental taxes on environmental action. When asked “do you trust governments to spend money from environment taxes specifically on environmental protection programs?” the survey results were uniformly skeptical across several key EU markets.