The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that the reliance on taxation as the solution for cutting aviation emissions in the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ proposal is counter-productive to the goal of sustainable aviation.
EU policy needs to support practical emission reduction measures such as incentives for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and modernisation of air traffic management, IATA said.
“Aviation is committed to decarbonisation as a global industry. We don’t need persuading, or punitive measures like taxes to motivate change. In fact, taxes siphon money from the industry that could support emissions’ reducing investments in fleet renewal and clean technologies.
“To reduce emissions, we need governments to implement a constructive policy framework that, most immediately, focuses on production incentives for SAF and delivering the Single European Sky,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.
To achieve aviation decarbonisation IATA pledges to promote the use of SAF which reduce emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. However, the organisation said insufficient supply and high prices have limited airline uptake to 120 million litres in 2021 — a small fraction of the 350 billion litres that airlines would consume in a ‘normal’ year.
“Aviation’s near-term vision is to provide sustainable, affordable air transport for all European citizens with SAF-powered fleets, operating with efficient air traffic management. We should all be worried that the EU’s big idea to decarbonise aviation is making jet fuel more expensive through tax. That will not get us to where we need to be. Taxation will destroy jobs. Incentivising SAF will improve energy independence and create sustainable jobs. The focus must be on encouraging the production of SAF, and delivering the Single European Sky,” added Walsh.
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