Sustainable tourism specialist Responsible Travel has called for a global “Green Flying Duty” on flights to control CO2 emissions from aviation, including placing higher charges on premium airline seats.
The company has launched a Manifesto for the Future of Tourism with the stark warning that “tourism is out of control”. It added the industry faces two choices: “either we come together to tame tourism into a force for good or we continue further into a global crisis”.
Responsible Travel is arguing that one way to tackle the issue of rising CO2 emissions is to introduce a Green Flying Duty on aviation around the world, which would be based on a reformed version of the UK’s existing Air Passenger Duty.
Justin Francis, chief executive of Responsible Travel, said: “The aviation sector is one of the fastest-growing contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
“Ryanair is now one of the top 10 carbon-polluting businesses in Europe. With just 11 years left to make the reductions necessary to limit global temperatures rising to no more than 1.5C, some tough choices are needed.”
Responsible Travel is calling for APD to be renamed as the Green Flying Duty (GFD) to make it clear that it’s an environmental tax.
The company also wants to see an increase in the duty’s rates – particularly for first, business and premium economy seats as well as private jets, with only a “small rise” for economy seats. There should also be a new “dedicated band” for domestic flights to discourage people from using these services.
Responsible Travel makes the case that other national governments should be encouraged to introduce their own forms of GFD as well.
“The solution to aviation and climate change must have national government backing, but so far we’ve seen little to tackle this, which is why we’re proposing a new plan,” added Francis.
“Carbon offsets will never tackle the real issue that we face – that we need radical reductions in emissions at unprecedented speed. Not in years to come, but in months to come.
“It’s time to demand action – we encourage everyone to write to local politicians and your national transport minister, calling for urgent action on aviation’s contribution to climate change.”