Measure tonnes of Carbon not tons of dollars that EU ETS will save!

English: Air India (Erstwhile Indian Airlines)...

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I’m not an International Trade Expert, or a Finance guru or an Economics erudite – but it just makes sense to have carbon tax on “all” flights! Period.

Why – is my first reaction. Why oppose the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme)? This is the Right Thing to do – regardless. Perhaps the only thing to be done to step up some serious carbon mitigation measures.

“India, China, the US, Russia, Brazil and another 21 nations have decided to retaliate against the EU decision to collect billions of dollars every year by unilaterally imposing a carbon tax on flights landing in Eurozone”, reported one media site.

The billion of dolars that EU will collect are the focal point – That is the wrong thing to measure. The thing to measure is the tonnes of carbon mitigated through this scheme. What we need to see is by how much will the price of the tickets go up for the consumers to pay and that is not by much to cry foul.

I think it’s a fair deal – since the certificate is free for the first year, airlines will have some time to figure out which direction to take. Airlines, if they are really socially responsible, can look at it this way:

That “extra” cost can be accounted for in the “Expenses” category. It will only remove that much revenue that will be required to obtain the certificate. Morever, those costs or part of those costs can be passed on to the consumer.

Now would consumers be willing to pay the extra fare – “carbon saved surchage” or whatever – I don’t know, but the right thing says – consumers and airlines must pay.

One of the bloggers at The Green Word says it succintly – “I have no illusions that the airlines will pay for it. And that is the point. You want the cost of a service to better reflect its actual impact. That means taking into consideration the environmental impact of burning huge amounts of fossil fuels.”

If nothing else, this will give them something to save their face in this intensive petro-chem industry. It becomes a moral imperative.

Technology companies providing video conferencing devices are directly competing with airlines – they are touting their products as “more greener” than air travel – what’s the thought behind?

The fallout could hit the domestic consumers hard since the number of European flights landing and flying from India could be reduced and the cost of tickets could increase exponentially.”

Isn’t that idea in the first place – reduce flight travel – and if this tool brings about the necessary changes – increased costs and increased tax, then so be it. Until now most of the airline companies have been allocating the costs externally – to some other place or for some future time – but that time in future is here to internalize those costs and causing manufacturers to deliver energy efficient planes and evaluate other forms of innovations in this sector.

Taken – Carbon tax will not solve the global warming problem overnight – but it’s a start – and a tough solid one at that.

Look at it this way- if EU is levying taxes on foreign airlines, then those foreign airlines can also levy carbon tax on EU airlines and all the possible combinaions of the countries. EU ETS will cause others to respond in like – All flights coming/going to/from these countries will have carbon tax – it gets balanced out and will become business as usual scenario with enviornmental costs embedded into the prices – which should be the case.

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the quote and link!

    I think that you were right on when you wrote “EU ETS will cause others to respond in like”. If governments around the world were serious about tackling climate change, they would use this situation to implement their own carbon tax. And if they are scared of the political reaction, they can simply blame the EU. Something along the lines of “it had to be done in order to remain competitive with the EU”.

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