France

Leaving France? Expect ‘Eco-Tax’ On Your Flight Out

France claims that airplane contrails (ice crystals) contribute to global warming and therefore travelers should be punished with an eco-tax to offset their destructive travel habits. ⁃ TN Editor

France will introduce an “eco-tax” of up to €18 (£16.19) on tickets for all flights leaving the country, the government has announced.

Transport minister Elisabeth Borne told a news conference that the €180m (£162m) it is expected to raise annually from 2020, would finance daily transport in the country.

The new tax will range from €1.50 for short-haul flights and up to €18 for long-haul journeys in business class.

The move comes amid an escalating planetary climate emergency which is disproportionally being caused by the tiny percentage of people who use planes for transport.

Only around five per cent of the world’s population takes flights, but air travel contributes an estimated two per cent of the globe’s total carbon emissions.

But a new study suggests the overall effects of flying could be far more damaging to the climate than first thought.

It identified trails left by planes in the sky as a far more damaging effect on the climate than all the carbon dioxide ever emitted from their engines.

The tracks – called contrails – linger in the sky as ice clouds and trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.

This is an unaccounted source of climate warming from air travel, and researchers from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) in Germany said the problem is set to triple by 2050.

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