Thursday, January 05, 2006

Air fuel tax vital to climate change battle

Camilla Cavendish points out that Britain's Kyoto efforts are doomed unless the massive growth in air travel is fairly taxed:

The Government itself admits that aviation emissions could amount to about a quarter of the UK’s total contribution to global warming in 25 years’ time, as other industries clean up their act. Between 1990 and 2003 greenhouse gas emissions from British industry fell in line with the Government’s Kyoto targets. But greenhouse gas emissions from air transport rose by more than 85 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics. Yet ministers are still actively promoting huge growth in air travel, from 200 million passengers a year to 470 million a year in 25 years’ time, by promoting airport expansion. No matter that about 70 per cent of travellers to Heathrow are transfer passengers, many never setting foot on UK soil: they are all potential customers for BAA’s hungry monopoly. No matter that those who live around airports are locked into homes blighted by noise and pollution. Their disadvantage apparently cannot compare with that of those who might be deprived of a cut-price trip.

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