CO2 tax on international air travel to ‘fight’ the weather changing

The guardian
John Vidal
07.06.2009

Levy on international air travel could fund climate change fight

• Idea put forward by 50 least developed countries
• Move could be matched by shipping fuel surcharge

Britain and other rich countries will be asked to accept a compulsory levy on international flight tickets and shipping fuel

The suggestions come at the start of the second week in the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn, where 192 countries are starting to negotiate a global agreement to limit and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The issue of funding for adaptation is critical to success but the hardest to agree.

The aviation levy […] would raise $10bn (£6.25bn) a year, it is said.

It has been proposed by the world’s 50 least developed countries. It could be matched by a compulsory surcharge on all international shipping fuel, said Connie Hedegaard, the Danish environment and energy minister who will host the final UN climate summit in December.

“People are beginning to understand that innovative ideas could generate a lot of money. The Danish shipping industry, which is one of the world’s largest, has said a that truly global system would work well. Denmark would endorse it,” said Hedegaard.

In Bonn last week, a separate Mexican proposal to raise billions of dollars was gaining ground. The idea, known as the “green fund” plan, would oblige all countries to pay amounts according to a formula reflecting the size of their economy, their greenhouse gas emissions and the country’s population. That could ensure that rich countries, which have the longest history of using of fossil fuels, pay the most to the fund.

Recently, the proposal won praise from 17 major-economy countries meeting in Paris as a possible mechanism to help finance a UN pact. The US special envoy for climate change, Todd Stern, called it “highly constructive”.

The Bonn meeting is the first climate meeting at which countries are discussing texts. These cover greenhouse gas reduction and financing developing countries’ efforts to combat climate change.

Last week, a US negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, said that the US had budgeted $400m to help poor countries adapt to climate change as an interim measure. But that amount was dismissed as inadequate by Bernarditas Muller of the Philippines, who is the co-ordinator of the G77 and China group of countries.

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