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Response to media articles suggesting that an EU ‘green levy’ will add £130 to the cost of a family holiday

January 3rd, 2012

The inclusion of airlines in the EU’s emissions trading scheme is not intended to raise prices for travellers but to provide incentives for airlines to cut emissions.  This is not some kind of imposition by the EU. The UK fully supported the scheme.  

Until 2020 permits will be over 82% free

If airlines pass on to travellers only the real additional costs to themselves, the actual cost to passengers at current carbon prices is estimated to be well below £2 per one-way transatlantic flight until 2020.

Even if they add to ticket prices the market value of permits they have been given free, this should amount to a maximum of about £5 per one-way flight.

During that period to 2020, airlines will have time to adapt and to modify fleets and behaviour to cut emissions.

All revenues from the scheme will be invested in R&D to tackle climate change, and in particular that caused by aircraft. This will help make greener air travel cheaper, among many other benefits for the public and for businesses.

Direct emissions from aviation account for about 3% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and this is increasing fast. The environmental damage is much greater when taking into account indirect warming effects, such as those from mono-nitrogen oxide emissions. Someone flying from London to New York and back generates roughly the same level of emissions as heating a typical UK home for a year. 

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EC in the UK

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Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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