Monday, July 25, 2005

Flying Polluter Pays

According to a document leaked to the Financial Times (see Euractive also), the European Commission is set to propose a pollution levy on airlines that could lead to a €9 hike in tickets. According to the paper,
the Commission wants airlines included in Europe's emissions trading scheme, which caps the amount of carbon dioxide an industry is allowed to produce.

The proposal has the backing of the British European Union presidency and is accepted by some leading airlines, including British Airways.
Personally, I think I'm in favour of such a move. We academics are forever jetting off to some place or other. In the last year, I've flown roughly 25,000 miles: hardly sustainable behaviour. Actually, having worked that out I'm a little shocked. I didn't realise I have flown that much. It's not much shorter than the circumference of the Earth. Lord.

Anyway, I believe that those responsible for externalities should foot the bill, so, if anything, €9 extra seems too little. Especially when, I presume, many trips are made in order to meet people to discuss things that don't require the meeting. Cyber-academic conferences anyone?

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