Germany to Tax Flights to Reduce Emissions

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The German government plans to tax airline passengers as much as €26 ($33) per flight as part of a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other environmental impacts of the aviation industry and to generate revenue. Passengers will be required to pay €13 per flight up to 1,553 miles within the European Union and €26 for longer flights departing from Germany, the Associated Press reported.

According to new rules that would be implemented on Jan. 1, 2011, travelers flying within German borders will be excluded. The proposed tax, which officials said would provide “incentives for environmentally friendly behavior,” will also generate about €1 billion annually. But industry officials called the tax irresponsible at a time when the airline industry is already struggling, predicting passengers will instead use other hubs from which to travel.

Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, criticized the plan as a “money grab,” saying efforts to confront climate change should not come from “uncoordinated regional taxes.” Germany’s actions come as environmentally conscious travelers seek to reduce the amount they fly.

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