Not only is flying the most climate-damaging activity people can chose to do but around 70% of UK flights are taken by just 15% of the population (DfT data). Aviation has the lowest effective carbon price of any sector and the long-term growth trend is beyond what can be accommodated by the CCC's Net Zero scenarios. Changes are needed in taxation on aviation that will provide a strong disincentive for excessive travelling by a relatively wealthy minority without making an annual foreign holiday too expensive for ordinary travellers. The Climate Assembly UK report concluded: "80% of assembly members ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that taxes that increase as people fly more often and as they fly further should be part of how the UK gets to get zero". Calculating air miles over a longer period of, say, 3 or 4 years would allow for an occasional long-haul flight, instead of several short flights, during that period without large penalty. Funds should go into developing lower-carbon aviation technology. If the inequity in flying behaviours is not confronted this risks damaging broader public engagement with acting on climate as people see others with carbon footprints sometimes hundreds of times that of a typical household and air miles programmes incentivising still more flights.
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This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation