easyJet refutes environment tax claims

In response to publication of a report by the Environmental Change
Institute at Oxford University easyJet is
calling for the findings to be put in to perspective and for practical solutions to
be implemented to deal with the impact of aviation on the environment.easyJet makes it’s case in a statement outlined below:

“It is clear airlines still have their part to play in safeguarding the environment,
but it is important to put this in to perspective - the European Commission’s own
calculations confirm that aviation accounts for just 3% of CO2 emissions in Europe.

“easyJet takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and as a result the
airline is one of the world’s most environmentally-efficient airlines. easyJet
flies brand new, quiet and fuel efficient aircraft using the latest technology. With
its point to point network and some of the highest load factors in the industry, no
resources are wasted and every aspect of the business is efficient.


“Calling for greater taxation on air travel is sloppy thinking and risks damaging the
European economy as a whole (3.1 million jobs and €221bn of GDP in the EU-15 are
dependent upon aviation, accounting for 8% of Europe’s GDP).  Aviation is also a
key driver for integration with the new Member States and growth under the EU’s
Lisbon Agenda.



“Taxation is a blunt instrument that will only put more money into the pockets of
Governments, whilst discriminating against the poorest in society, who until
recently were priced out of the sky. Crucially, and most importantly, it does not
benefit the environment.


“A balanced debate is required to ensure practical and workable solutions can be
found to address the environmental issues and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is a
key initiative, providing the largest possible proportion of European flights is


“Applying ETS only to intra-European short-haul travel would only cover 20% of
Europe’s flying - or 1% of total EU emissions; this would appear to be
insufficient and would only represent “tokenism” on the part of the EU. Much
greater coverage could be obtained by including ex-EU flights in the scheme of
classifying airports as the “installation”, rather than airlines, thereby
ensuring that every take-off and landing is covered - regardless of the
destination of the aircraft.


“Any Emissions Trading Scheme must also:


á      Ensure that allowances are being allocated fairly: airlines must not be
given an incentive to do nothing for the next few years - so allowances must not
be based on historical usage.

á      Guard against distortion of competition: environmentally-efficient
low-cost airlines operating brand-new, clean and quiet aircraft must not be
penalised in favour of inefficient traditional airlines with old, dirty aircraft.

á      Be pan-European: the allocation process must have harmonised rules and
administration through the entire EU to avoid favouritism and illegal protection of
national champions.




“In addition to ETS, significant improvements to the efficiency of the European
aviation industry and serious reductions in CO2 levels could be made with changes to
the Air Traffic Management system and the stamping out of illegal subsidies given
to ailing national airlines.


“The 19th-century style air traffic management in Europe is in desperate need of
fundamental reform. Airlines are faced with over 30 local air traffic control
providers, rendering it impossible to fly the most direct paths between two
airports. An estimated 12% of kerosene (and CO2 emissions) could be saved by
optimising air traffic control in Europe.


“Whilst the EU must stop turning a blind eye to the increasing direct and indirect
subsidies given to national airlines. These subsidies prevent a consolidation of the
sector and allow flag carriers to operate uneconomical routes with old, polluting,
half-empty aircraft. 



“With so much potential to improve the efficiency of the European aviation industry,
which would reduce impact of operations on the environment, it would be
fundamentally wrong to increase taxation to price consumers out of the market,
instead of introducing measures to directly tackle the problem.