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Serious about aviation?

March 19, 2007

The World Development Movement warns British ministers they will fail to achieve big enough cuts in carbon dioxide emissions unless they do something about the growth in aviation.

According to the Independent anti-poverty pressure group the World Development Movement, have just released a report called Dying on a Jet Plane, urging ministers to impose more green taxes on aviation.

The report states that Britain needs to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 90 per cent by 2050 to make its contribution to the global fight against climate change – a much bigger reduction than the Government’s 60 per cent target.

“Government action now to at least halt the growth in emissions from UK aviation should therefore be viewed as a critical part of the overall effort to tackle climate change”, the report concludes.

Unlikely allies

The World Development Movement is not the only political group seeing aviation as a major threat to the climate. The British Conservative party have proposed a “green air miles” scheme for higher taxes on people who take more than one short-haul flight each year.

– The truth is that you can’t be serious about climate change unless you’re serious about aviation, David Cameron told his party’s spring conference.

It is a huge leap forward that even the conservatives are starting to wake up and smell the greenhouse gases. If the UK were to stop subsidising the aviation industry and start taxing air travel properly, it would definitely be good news for the environment. If other governments, like those of the USA, Germany and France, not to mention my frequently flying countrymen, the Norwegians, were to follow, we might actually be one big step closer to stopping global warming.

Photo: Tony Roberts /

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