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Germany Mulls Doubling Air Travel Tax to Tackle Climate Issues



Germany’s Christian Democrats party has proposed doubling taxes on domestic flights in an effort to help reduce CO2 emissions.

A BBC news report says connecting flights that are part of long-haul trips would be exempt from the measure, which would impact the current tax of $8.10 per ticket for domestic flights.

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The suggestion, which was proposed by leaders of the Christian Democrats party, who are part of a coalition that includes the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD).

The proposal also notes that engines not reliant on fossil fuels would exempt from the tax.

“We will invest, together with the aviation industry, to make electric-powered flight standard for short-haul flights and to create synthetic fuel to achieve climate-neutrality on medium- and long-haul flights,” states the proposal, according to the BBC.

The move comes amid growing criticism of the aviation industry’s global contribution to CO2 emissions.

Earlier this year, Responsible Travel issued a manifesto on aviation and climate change calling the aviation industry one of the fastest-growing contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

The manifesto from the travel company also challenged governments around the world to take actions to reduce demand for flying through taxation and other measures.

“As the world focuses in on reducing carbon emissions aviation is getting a free ride,” Justin Francis, CEO Responsible Travel, told TravelPulse in May. “This has to stop if we are to keep global warming below 1.5 percent.”

According to the manifesto, if aviation was a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter of CO2 in the world, just behind Germany. In Europe, Ryanair has become one of the top 10 most carbon polluting businesses.

A 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended that to limit global temperature rises to no more than 1.5°C, global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 must be 55 percent below 2017 levels.

With the anticipated rise in global air passengers, even the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) predicts that aviation emissions are expected to grow by up to 300 percent by 2050.

“If we are to achieve the necessary global cuts in emissions, the aviation industry cannot rely on other sectors to take on the burden of reductions. Aviation needs to play its part and tackle its own emissions,” states the Responsible Travel’s manifesto.

Responsible Travel has said it does not believe that airlines/carbon-offsets-booming-thanks-to-greta-thunberg.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>carbon offsets, which have become increasingly popular among some travelers thanks to climate change leaders like Greta Thunberg, are an effective means of dealing with the pollution from the airlines” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>aviation industry. Bringing about significant industry change will mean that individuals need to alter their travel habits, and ultimately fly less, according to Responsible Travel.

Germany’s governing coalition is expected to unveil a sweeping climate package later this month, one that may include expanded grants for electric car buyers, encouraged train use and increased taxes for those operating polluting vehicles, said the BBC.

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Emirates Announces Firing Employees Amid the Pandemic



Emirates Airline, the last holdout among the Gulf region‘s three major East-West carriers in retaining its workforce announced on May 31, 2020, that it had fired an undisclosed number of employees, due to the near-shutdown of global air travel amid COVID-19.

The other two—Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways—had already scaled back in terms of staffing as the virus spread, virtually eliminating passenger demand and causing international borders to slam shut.

While Emirates has been applauded during the pandemic for continuing to run repatriation flights around the globe, as well as delivering cargo and critical supplies, it has been dramatically affected by the halting of international passenger travel, just like the rest of the world’s airlines.

In a statement, the company said, “We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is…but have come to the conclusion that we, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us.”

Without revealing any particulars of the mass firing, Emirates assured that those being axed from its workforce would be treated, “with fairness and respect.”

ABC News reported that to try and balance some of the immense losses the airline continues to suffer, Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, injected an undisclosed amount of equity into its operations back in March.

Although the flag carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, had already reduced its staff members’ pay during the course of the global health crisis.

Meanwhile, Emirates’ home base, Dubai International Airport—typically the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic—has also been running only a fraction of its normal operations.

Dubai, which has positioned itself as a critical hub for the free movement of people, goods and capital from around the globe (all of which the pandemic has disrupted), now depends heavily upon a resumption of activity at its airport.

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