Air travel

Sweden set to lead the way on making airlines accountable for emissions



Sweden set to lead the way with ambitious airline carbon tax.


By Anders Lorenzen

While global aviation emissions have been continuing to grow, airlines` responsibility to cut emissions have been exempt from UN climate agreements and carbon tax schemes.  An EU proposal to include a tax on airline emissions was defeated in 2012 by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the issue has not re-emerged since.

But a commission appointed by the Swedish centre-left government has proposed that Sweden put in place an airline carbon tax, which all airlines operating in the country would be obliged to pay.

If adopted by the government, it would come into effect on the 1st of January in 2018. And airlines operating in Sweden should then pay a tax of between 80 and 430 Swedish crowns ($9-$47) per passenger and flight to compensate for climate pollution. This tax would amount to 1.75 billion Swedish crowns per year.

Once the tax has been put in place, the cost of domestic flights would increase by 80 crowns and international flights by between 280 – 430 crowns, all depending on the distance of the flights.

It is expected that the Swedish government will adopt the proposal and make an announcement in their autumn budget in October 2017.

However, opposition parties do not like it one bit, because of damage to the airline industry. But were it to be adopted. it would be celebrated by environmentalists and green campaigners, many of whom have grown frustrated at the lack of policy progress in this area. It might even prompt other countries to follow Sweden’s lead.

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