An automatic “carbon charge” could be levied on all air tickets, cruise fares and package holidays as part of a government initiative to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling has launched a call for evidence, which will explore how carbon emissions produced by transport could be offset.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is seeking feedback on proposals requiring companies selling travel tickets to offer additional carbon offsets at point of sale.
While the charges would be voluntary, the DfT has suggested they could be implemented on an opt-out rather than opt-in basis.
Ministers hope the proposals will raise awareness of the effect of transport on the environment, with the cash generated used to fund projects ranging from planting trees to installing solar panels.
In principle, the scheme would seek to pay for the equivalent level of emissions arising from a particular journey or form of transport to be reduced or removed elsewhere.
According to the DfT, transport accounted for one third of all UK carbon emissions in 2018. The government has committed to reducing carbon emissions to a net zero by 2050.
Travel types to be considered in the call for evidence include air, rail, bus, coach, ferry and road transport, as well as “cruise” and “package holidays”.