easyJet is welcoming a review of the 2003 Air Transport White Paper, feeling that it made the
right recommendations when it was published and that those are still the right ones
today. The airline believes it is time for a proper discussion about aviation’s
contribution to climate change, what the Government calls the “emissions cost
estimate”, as there is too much ill-informed hysteria in this area.
The Stern Review estimates that aviation CO2 emissions currently account for 1.6% of
global Greenhouse Gas emissions and under Stern’s “business as usual” projections,
emissions from aviation would represent 2.5% of global Greenhouse Gases by 2050.
easyJet takes the issue of aviation and the environment very seriously and they are
already making huge efforts to ensure we are as environmentally-efficient as is
possible. They fly brand new aircraft with high passenger densities and operate direct
flights, which makes them one of Europe’s most environmentally-efficient airlines.
easyJet welcomes the Government’s desire to consider the “emissions cost estimate” of
aviation because they feel the numbers speak for themselves:
For the average easyJet flight, the cost of offsetting the carbon emitted for each
passenger would be around £2 for the return journey. This compares to the £10 Air
Passenger Duty (APD) that the Chancellor is now extracting from easyJet for each
passenger. This means that passengers can travel on easyJet in the knowledge that the
Government’s “environmental” tax covers their carbon emissions five times over.
Andy Harrison, easyJet Chief Executive, said:
“In the last week the Government has done the right thing on the review of the White
Paper and the wrong thing on Air Passenger Duty.
“The review of the 2003 White Paper has come to the right conclusion -aviation needs
capacity to enhance the UK’s economic performance.
“It is also right to have a measured, objective look at aviation’s relatively
minimal contribution to climate change. We are so angered by the Chancellor’s
decision to double APD in last week’s Pre Budget Report because APD is a double
whammy against the travelling public. It is not an effective environmental tax,
because its indiscriminate flat-rate nature provides no incentive to change
behaviour. And it is not a fair tax because the amount it takes from passengers
vastly outweighs the environmental costs of flying. In the case of easyJet
passengers, the over-recovery is in the order of 5 to 1.”