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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a report suggesting that public opinion leans towards investment in green aviation technology rather than on environmental taxes levied on air cargo and travel.

According to the survey, 64% of respondents supported the development of sustainable aviation fuels, and 62% supported the research and development of better technology. By contrast, only 22% supported environmental taxes.

In every country surveyed, most respondents answered in the negative when asked, “Do you trust governments to spend money from environment taxes specifically on environmental protection programmes?”

81% of French respondents said they would not trust the government. In Spain, the figure was 73%, while in Germany and the UK it was 66%. The Netherlands had the lowest figure for distrust of the government at 53%.

IATA responds to environmental tax proposal
Credit: Juhasz Imre

The report was a response to the Dutch government’s proposals to introduce a charge of €3.85 per tonne of cargo on noisier planes and €1.925 per tonne on quieter planes, while taxing passengers €7 per departure.

However, according to Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive of IATA: “The research shows that the public’s feelings are very clear. People want to travel. They value the freedom to fly. And they want to see the industry and governments taking action on emissions. Making it more expensive for people to fly is not the answer.”

De Juniac maintained that the aviation industry takes climate change “very seriously” and that it has repeatedly exceeded tough targets set for reducing carbon emissions.

De Juniac concluded: “Sensible governments should take practical measures to help, not hinder investment through weakening the industry and trying to make flying a preserve of the rich.”

Source: IATA

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