France Introduces an Eco Tax For Airline Flights

10 Juillet, 2019, 14:42 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Emmanuel Macron is keen for the EU to introduce a Europe-wide green tariff on flights

The move comes as aviation's contribution to climate change is in the spotlight across Europe.

"France is committed to the taxation of air transport but there is an urgency here", she said. A group of French politicians also suggested banning some internal flights for environmental reasons, a proposal that was widely discounted.

Ms Borne said the money raised by the tax will be invested in in less-polluting transport, such as rail. The fee will be phased in for all airplanes departing from France.

Air France slammed the measure, which it said would "strongly penalise its competitiveness" at a time when it needed to invest, notably in renewing its fleet, to reduce its carbon footprint.

This will be spent on improving green transport within France.

French President Emmanuel Macron's government has said it wants to put the environment at the center of its policies, but late past year it abandoned an attempt to increase tax on diesel fuel following the "yellow vest" protest movement.

It said 50 percent of its flights were operated out of France, notably for its domestic network, where losses amounted to more than 180 million euros ($202m) in 2018. Placing a carbon tax on something like worldwide air travel, which is typically a luxury and not a basic need, puts the burden of paying for carbon offsets on people who can most afford it and are emitting the most carbon.

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France wants the new European Union Commission to push for an end to global tax exemptions for jet fuel to reduce Carbon dioxide emissions.

She said the only exceptions from the tax will be for domestic flights to Corsica and France's overseas territories, and connecting flights that pass through France.

The tax will help the government collect 180 million euros, which it aims to spend on financing infrastructure projects, according to the minister.

However, activists said the new tax was unlikely to change consumer behaviour at the proposed levels and was low compared to similar taxes in other countries.

"Such a transition could have been facilitated by supporting the implementation of sustainable biofuel industries or disruptive innovations".

The new tax will cost passengers up to €18 ($US20.20) and will be levied on passengers flying from the popular tourist destination.

"This new tax is an economic and environmental nonsense", UAF president Thomas Juin said.

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