Airlines Pass EU’s Carbon Emission Tax onto Passengers
We all are aware of the carbon emission planes exude—a business class seat alone from New York to London emits approximately 2.866 tons of CO2 into the environment. The European Union had the idea of charging airlines a small amount to offset their emissions back in 2005 when they introduced the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). On January 1, 2012 the ETS is now in full effect and any airline touching down in the EU will have to pay. The global response has been less than enthusiastic—especially from China. “China will not cooperate with the European Union on the ETS, so Chinese airlines will not impose surcharges on customers relating to the emissions tax,” Cai Haibo, deputy secretary-general of the China Air Transport Association (CATA), told Reuters .
Instead of the airlines fronting the cost of the new law, passengers are the ones that will suffer. European airline Lufthansa warned passengers that a price increase is imminent. In the US, Delta, American, and US Airways slapped on a $3 surcharge.
According to USA Today, “[The] EU says its ETS, which already applies to other industries, is the fairest way to cope with aviation’s contribution to global warming and cuts through years of inconclusive efforts to come up with a worldwide alternative.”
We agree that something has to be done to offset carbon emissions, but do you think it is the passenger’s responsibility to pay?