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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Easyjet supports green air taxes
Easyjet Boeing 737
Easyjet says its planes are more efficient than most
The budget airline Easyjet has announced its support for a green tax on air travel.

The carrier says current air passenger duty should be scrapped and replaced with a tax based on the amount of carbon dioxide produced on each flight.

It believes such a tax would mean Easyjet passengers would pay less than they do with passenger duty.

Ministers say including aviation in the EU's carbon trading scheme is the best way to ensure meeting emission targets.

'Ineffective tax'

The BBC's transport correspondent Tom Symonds said Easyjet's routes were relatively short compared with full service carriers and it used newer aircraft.

This meant the no-frills airline believed its carbon emissions would be lower per passenger than many of its rivals, he said.

We should all demand a more intelligent approach to flying
Andy Harrison
Easyjet chief executive

Earlier this year, the government came in for heavy criticism from the UK's leading airlines for doubling the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Easyjet described the charge as "an ineffective environmental tax" which failed to recognise that some airlines have more efficient planes than others.

In its latest report, Towards Greener Skies: The Surprising Truth About Flying And The Environment, Easyjet has urged the government to bring in a tax based on aircraft types and distance travelled.

'Change needed'

The airline says the current APD raises about 2.4bn in tax for the government every year, but does not reflect emission levels.

A green tax based on the amount of carbon dioxide produced by each flight would provide the air industry with an incentive to operate environmentally-efficient aircraft, the report adds.

APD has a role to play in sending signals to air passengers about the environmental consequences of their actions
Treasury

Chief executive of Easyjet, Andy Harrison, said aviation now needed to be green as well as economically sustainable.

"The time has come to scrap APD and replace it with a 'polluter tax' that has at its heart a very simple notion - those that fly on airlines that pollute less, like Easyjet, should pay less.

"We should all demand a more intelligent approach to flying."

A Treasury spokesman said the government believed including aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme, which unites the 25 states in an attempt to cut gases fuelling climate change, was the most efficient way to ensure aviation met climate change targets.

"Until this happens, we believe that APD has a role to play in sending signals to air passengers about the environmental consequences of their actions," he said.

But he added that all taxes were kept under review by the chancellor.




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