The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued a warning that a proposed new environmental tax in France will fail to decarbonise the aviation sector and eliminate 150,000 French aviation jobs.
The Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat (CCC) – a citizens’ body created under President Macron – is proposing a series of measures to curb aviation emissions, including an eco-tax on tickets issued in France, to raise 4.2 billion euros annually. France already imposes some of the heaviest aviation taxes in Europe. The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) estimates that if implemented the CCC proposal would lead to 150,000 job losses and cost the French economy 5-6 billion euros in lost GDP. Against those economic costs, the measures would reduce emissions by 3.5 million tonnes a year, which is less than 1 percent of France’s total emissions.
“This proposal cannot be taken seriously. It is not the time to add 6 billion euros and 150,000 lost jobs to the economic destruction already being levelled on the French aviation sector by COVID-19. And it will all but eliminate the 160,000 jobs that the government is trying to create with 100 billion euros in its economic re-launch plan. In this time of crisis we need coherent policies that will save jobs not policies that will destroy them,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
IATA also warned that a unilateral approach to reducing aviation’s emissions could compromise the progress that is being made globally. The world’s first global carbon offset scheme for an economic sector – the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) – was agreed by governments through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and applies to all international flights. ICAO however, threw the industry a bone when it allowed CORSIA standards to be set based on 2019 emissions instead of including 2020 emissions because the lower number of international flights in 2020 due to the pandemic would have made the standards tougher on aviation.