European airlines could face new green taxes as the environmental movement and the concept of “flugsham”, the Swedish for “flight shame”, continues to grow across the continent.
Emirates president Tim Clark said the green agenda was growing massively across Europe and argued governments would use it as an opportunity to levy more taxes, with the aim of making aviation more sustainable by dissuading consumers from flying too often.
Clark also accused the aviation industry of losing control of the argument over its emissions, which has allowed it to be portrayed as “the bad guy” by environmentalists.
He added while aviation may be responsible for 3% of global emissions, this was a long way behind road vehicles, which account for 18%, while even the world’s shipping fleet contributes 4% of emissions.
But Clark admitted aviation had also been a victim of its own success, with much of the growth in flying driven by reduced ticket prices as a result of more efficient aircraft – the emissions of which have been cut by 50% in the past 30 years.
He said: “These are all very good stats but, as a result of that, we have offered price points that would have been unheard of 30 or 40 years ago.”