The need for action

Personal carbon quotas that shrink each year and frequent flyer levies that increase as you take more flights are two regulatory approaches to passenger demand reduction.

Goals and targets

Government commitment via budget allocation and legislation to the establishment of per citizen aviation carbon quotas reducing to zero in 10 years, and to the implementation of annual passenger ticket levies that increase as a passenger’s flights increase.

How we get there

By researching the issue, mapping a path to the campaign goal, lobbying policy makers and spreading the word.

The state of play
Personal carbon quotas
Radical change in levels of per capita flying is possible through a personal carbon quota scheme that includes international flights, says Alice Larkin of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in her paper All adrift: aviation, shipping, and climate change policy. “Personal carbon trading (PCT)”, advocates Larkin, “is a radical policy proposal which would entail all adults receiving an equal, tradable carbon allowance to cover emissions from household energy and/or personal travel. The allowance would reduce over time — for aviation, say from one flight per person every 2 years to zero in 10 years — in line with national emissions reduction goals. Most research shows PCT to be at least as socially acceptable as an alternative taxation policy, both fair and effective. Set-up and running costs for PCT will undoubtedly be higher than for alternative taxation policies. However, PCT could deliver benefits from individual and social change motivated by non-economic aspects of the policy”.

A carbon tax or frequent flyer levy
Taxes or levies would ensure those who fly are faced with a price tag that reflects the impact of what they’re doing. The German website DW has quoted David Hodgkinson, an associate professor of law at the University of Western Australia, arguing that a carbon tax is needed, especially given the complexity of other cross-border strategies for reducing emissions. “People understand it,” he said. “They might not like it, but they understand the properties of a tax. … Most people, and even the airline industry, would accept that there needs to be some form of price on aviation emissions.”

Well worth the read are Chapter 3 and 4 Making excessive flyers pay:frequent flyer levy & air miles levy and Setting limits on flights of Stay Grounded’s valuable report Regrowth aviation: Reducing air travel in a just way.

Can you help with this campaign?

With researching the issue?
With mapping a path to the goal?
With lobbying policy makers?
With spreading the word?

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