Global air travel and the EU carbon tax

Article Highlights

  • Estimates say the EU may earn $1.5 billion next year from the carbon fuel tax on airlines

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  • 38 percent of the 777 million air travelers passing through the 27-member EU last year came from other countries

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  • Air travel's contribution to human-induced global carbon emissions last year --2%

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The European Union is planning to tax all airlines that travel to and from the 27 EU nations based on the amount of carbon emissions they produce.  The tax, to be collected beginning in 2013 for prior year emissions, will be calculated based on the length of each flight. The farther the airlines travel, the heftier the tax.

Several countries, particularly China and India, are fighting the carbon tax, which estimates say may earn the EU $1.5 billion next year. The fee, sure to be passed on to passengers, could cost about $3-$12 per person.

With air travel on the rise, after a dip in 2009, the EU is seeing an uptick in passenger traffic, including 291 million air travelers who passed between the EU and non-member countries in 2010 -- 38 percent of air travelers passing through the 27-member union. Of them, 25.7 million were en route between the EU and Far East and 7.3 million between the EU and Indian Subcontinent.

Aside from the commercial airlines, EU and non-member countries also shipped 10.6 billion tons of freight and mail to one another in 2010. London and Paris are ranked the two busiest airports in the world for international traffic.

Here’s a look at some other trends.*

AEI held an event on Thursday to discuss the impact of the carbon tax. Video highlights are available.

 

*Data compiled from Eurostat/European Commission, Air Transport Action Group and Airports Council International.

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