AviationThe government expects to collect nearly 180 million euros a year for investment in greener transport infrastructure.

France pushes for greener aviation with flight tax from 2020

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France expects to collect nearly 180 million euros for investment in greener transport infrastructure, notably rail. Photo Credit: Petmal/Getty Images

The move, to kick in from 2020, will introduce a tax on flights within and outside Europe.

France is set to introduce a new green tax on plane tickets of up to 18 euros per flight (US$20), similar to initiatives in other EU states, as they seek to limit the environmental impact of air travel.

The funds will be collected from flights originating from France and used to create less-polluting transport options amid growing concerns on carbon emissions from planes.

The move, to kick in from 2020, will introduce a tax on flights within and outside Europe.

A tax of three euros (US$7.94) will be levied on economy class tickets for flights outside the EU and a maximum of 18 euros for business class tickets, while flights within the EU will see a tax of 1.5 euros on economy class tickets and nine euros for business class, AFP reported.

Nearly 180 million euros a year (US$203m) are expected to be collected for investment in greener transport infrastructure, notably rail, according to Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne.

Flights to the French Mediterranean island of Corsica and to French overseas departments will be exempt, the minister  said.

Air France slammed the measure, which it said would "strongly penalise its competitiveness" at a time when it needed to invest, notably in renewing its fleet, to reduce its carbon footprint.

Sweden imposed a similar tax in April last year, which adds a charge of up to 40 euros on every ticket.

But such ecotaxes has been criticised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which calls their effectiveness “doubtful” and said “no government that introduced a ticket tax has been able to demonstrate that such tax reduced CO2 emissions”.

The industry is already subject to the EU carbon emissions trading system and, from 2020, to a new global mechanism called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).


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