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Push to add $30 climate fee to domestic flights

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Altair

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How is this to help?
I do not trust the government to collect "environmental taxes" and to spend it.
If one or two people per flight do not get on the plane because of the increased cost, does it reduce the CO2 emmissions? I think not beyond a miniscule amount, flights need to be cancelled or downgauged in order for significant savings.
Push to add $30 climate fee to domestic flights - Environment - smh.com.au
A $30 GREENHOUSE gas fee should be added to all domestic flights, and aviation should be included in any emissions trading scheme if Australia is to curb its climate change pollution, a report says.
Airlines were a threat to the climate because of rising levels of greenhouse gas pollution generated by a growing travel market, said the report by the think tank the Australia Institute.
Aviation is growing so fast it could account for more than half of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century, said the report, written by Andrew Macintosh and Christian Downie.
But because non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases and greenhouse gases generated by international travel are not included in the greenhouse gas inventory, aviation pollution could wipe out the effect of cuts in emissions in other sectors, they said.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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As a constraint on demand it is somewhat ineffective (check out UK traffic post the doubling of APD supposedly on environmental grounds). It will have an effect at the margins, in that some price sensitive leisure travellers will choose not to fly. However no one seems to take into account that those travellers may then drive somewhere for a holiday and thus adding to emissions from their cars.

There is a lot of distrust that environmental taxes invariably end up in general tax slush funds and not on measures that help the environment. This is no different to many other "designated" taxes. For example road and petrol taxes in NZ have historically had only a low % actual used for transport. It is only now after decades of complaints that politicians are getting to spending even close to half on transport - and they still introduce new taxes for transport purposes (10c a litre for Aucklanders in the budget last week).

Unfortunately politicians like these because a soft target with some broad appeal. The measures not being successful is someone else's problem (years later), and they get the benefits of extra money to spend.
 

simongr

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This is a tough one. I support that we need to do something about climate change - but this as KF points out is an easy target. Some people in the infrequent (1 flight per year) leisure market will feel good about the $30 extra and think that they are doing the right thing. Or it wont affect them at all and they will think its a good tax like duty on cigarettes - attacking the poor fools who refuse to stop polluting.

However the people who it will impact most probably wont have visibility of it at all - frequent business and frequent leisure travellers - they will just wear this cost and it will flow through to the government to do as this want.

I do however wish that there was some way I could make my travel carbon neutral (I havent really researched it as yet). I did a comparison of my carbon footprint. Based on my travel patterns I compared myself and mrssimongr to an "average family". The average family had a footprint of 12,000 somethings (cant remember the actual unit of measure). Mrssimongr and I had a footprint without travel of 5,000 (which is pretty good) but with my travel it was about 110,000 :oops:

I wouldnt mind a surcharge on the flights collected by the airlines that then went into carbon reduction programs - that were not government administered and were "audited" to validate that they did in fact generate a carbon neutral or carbon reducing position.

Alternatively I could go out and plant some trees...
 

Kiwi Flyer

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There are several schemes where you can buy the offsets privately (usually through a charity but sometimes it is a company).

As an evolving area I have some skepticism (for example how do I know they planted x trees for my $y), but I think it won't take long to mature and become more acceptable.
 

Shano

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Slightly OT, but certain music festivals / concerts now give patrons the option of paying a surcharge on the ticket price, which ultimately is used to purchase green energy to counter the carbon footprint of the concert. Figures I have heard are from $1 to $5, depending on the size of the festival / concert and the likelihood that people will travel longer distances to get there. A small step, but I guess at least it is in the right direction.

I would not hesitate paying an additional $5 on a say $50 ticket for such purposes. But I fly a lot more than I go to concerts, so the proposed $30 per flight, plus my scepticism over where this money ends up, makes it less attractive.
 

StevePER

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The calculator on Carbon Neutral says PER-SYD (one way) is 5 trees, or $15. So at current rates the $30 seems excessive, especially when most flights would be much shorter than this example.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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StevePER said:
The calculator on Carbon Neutral says PER-SYD (one way) is 5 trees, or $15. So at current rates the $30 seems excessive, especially when most flights would be much shorter than this example.
the other $15 is cost of administering the tax :rolleyes:
 

Kiwi Flyer

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something about the maths doesn't add up

if by 2050 it is forecast to make up 50% of the, by then lowered emissions at 60% below current levels, then this is 20% of current emissions (based on more than 40 years of growth)

without seeing model and assumptions hard to say how reasonable this is or isnt (although recent growth fuelled by emergence of LCCs - will prices really keep dropping at the rate they have in the past decade?)

nonetheless there are plenty of other areas to tackle that make up 95-97% of current emissions (according to the article)

a jump from 3-5% of current emissions to 20% of current emissions in 40 years seems, on the face of it, inconsistent with forecast passenger growth of 5% pa (even ignoring improvements in technology) - seems to be implying emissions inefficiency somehow doubles (if currently 5%) or quadruples (if currently 3%)

or am I missing something from the maths?
 

Reggie

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Save the environment and the trees,

mulch a greenie instead:mrgreen: .
 

simongr

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That would involve flying DJ who do not yet have a OW business class seat to Hong Kong and beyond I believe ;)
 

NM

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Just so long as it replaces the Fuel Fine and is not added to the other ever increasing list of surcharges and "taxes".

Or force the airlines to include it in the base fare and not add it on the end like all the other extras.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NM said:
Just so long as it replaces the Fuel Fine and is not added to the other ever increasing list of surcharges and "taxes".

Or force the airlines to include it in the base fare and not add it on the end like all the other extras.
I see zero chance of that happening. Airlines and government are aligned in wanting it to be a separate and highly visible extra.
 

NM

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Kiwi Flyer said:
I see zero chance of that happening. Airlines and government are aligned in wanting it to be a separate and highly visible extra.
Exactly. So we will see more and more cases where the extras far outweigh the fare component.

I guess it will be listed just after the "Pilot's Medical Examination Surcharge" and the "Liquids Recycling Levy" in the fare calculation field on the ticket.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NM said:
Exactly. So we will see more and more cases where the extras far outweigh the fare component.

I guess it will be listed just after the "Pilot's Medical Examination Surcharge" and the "Liquids Recycling Levy" in the fare calculation field on the ticket.
It is already the case for the cheaper QF domestic in NZ fares, trans-tasman, etc.

Just wait until there is a Politician Bribes Levy!
 

trooper

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So... through active efforts on my part to purchase a residence within easy walking distance of work, I use my car not-at-all during the week...

My annual "distance driven" is way less than half the average as a result....and mainly consists of long distance highway driving where the engine is at its most efficient....

Why do "I" then have to pay for an "offset" when I choose to fly??

I have already offset it! :confused:
 

NM

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Just wait until there is a Politician Bribes Levy!
And the "Aircraft Maintenance Levy", the "Aircraft Cleaning Surcharge" and the "Tyre Recycling Program Tax" are added to the list.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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trooper said:
So... through active efforts on my part to purchase a residence within easy walking distance of work, I use my car not-at-all during the week...

My annual "distance driven" is way less than half the average as a result....and mainly consists of long distance highway driving where the engine is at its most efficient....

Why do "I" then have to pay for an "offset" when I choose to fly??

I have already offset it! :confused:
Most of my distance travelled in ground based motor vehicles is on the way to & from the airport.

I also have energy saving features at home. Most of my power bill is fixed charges :evil:
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NM said:
And the "Aircraft Maintenance Levy", the "Aircraft Cleaning Surcharge" and the "Tyre Recycling Program Tax" are added to the list.
Don't give them ideas :evil:
 

simongr

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trooper said:
Why do "I" then have to pay for an "offset" when I choose to fly??

I have already offset it! :confused:
Because you are an easy target and you are doing something that a lot of people want to do but either cant afford it or dont have the skills to get a job that involves doing it.

I dont have kids, have only one car and try and keep energy use down - but that is not enough :(

I have trees in my garden as well - what about the people that live in units and have no trees....
 
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