Airline passengers traveling to, from, or within Denmark would be assessed a special tax as part of a plan to have “completely green domestic aviation” no later than 2030.
If approved, revenues from the tax would be used to finance a range of initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of Denmark’s aviation industry, including operations at smaller airports, officials said.
The tax would be phased in between 2025 and 2030, starting at an average of about $10 per passenger per flight and rising to about $14-15.
Denmark Aims for Environmentally Friendly Air Travel
“When we fly, we burden the climate, and therefore we must give aviation green wings,” said Danish Climate, Energy and Supply Minister Lars Aagaard. “The aviation sector in Denmark must—just like all other industries—reduce its climate footprint and move towards a green future.”
The Danish government plans to allocate about $116 million to create carbon-neutral air routes starting in 2025, and another $218 million towards the goal of completely carbon neutral domestic aviation by 2030.
A portion of the “green” tax also will go toward supporting Denmark’s national pension plan.
This isn’t the first attempt to use taxes to support more environmentally friendly air travel. The European Union, for example, has been debating a plan to tax aviation fossil fuels while simultaneously exempting sustainable alternatives.
The International Air Transport Association, an industry group representing airlines, is on record opposing “green” taxes, which it claims have “no positive impact on the environment but brings a detrimental effect on jobs, competitiveness and the economy.”
Aviation contributes an estimate 12 percent of total global CO2 emissions, with commercial aviation’s share between 2 and 3 percent. Road transportation, on the other hand, accounts for 74 percent of total CO2 emissions, according to the Global Climate Project.
However, while 14 percent of all new cars are now emission-free electric models, the first zero-emission commercial aircraft isn’t expected to fly until at least 2035.