We Finnish citizens who have signed this national initiative demand that the parliament is going to prepare a law to be made on on passenger flight tax in Finland. When preparing the flight tax law one should find out whether it is possible when determining the amount of passenger flight tax, the climate impacts of different flight should be taken account, and if it is possible to direct the tax income to environmental policy. Passenger Flight Tax should be determined so that enough efficient environmental policy guidance impact is achieved.
The climate impacts of flights
Flights increase the climate change and therefore the economic guidance is needed to decrease the amount of flights. The majority of flight emissions is carbon dioxide. Furthermore steam and other small emissions are released. The emissions of flight traffic are spreading right in the upper atmosphere where the environmental impacts of those intensify. All in all the heat impact of flights is at least double compared to mere carbon dioxide emissions
Emissions of one flight trip to Thailand are at least as big as the mediocre yearly emissions of a Finnish petrol car. From the carbon footprint of an individual the amount of a fight might be very big indeed.
Emission development and climate objectives
The temperature of the planet has already increased almost one degree from preindustrial era. The report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change IPCC published on 8.10.2018 warns that if the warming continues present phase, the border of 1,5 degree will be passed by middle of the century. Going pass the border would cause catarstrophig consequences to the mankind and nature
Despite the fact that the mechanism of climate warming has been known for long time, have the carbon emissions kept on going up. Global emissions have increased from the 17 gigatons a year in 1980’s to the present niveau about 33 gigatons a year. Emission development was halted temporarily in the middle of 2010’s, but in 2018 the emissions increased again about 2 %.
According to IPCC some quick emission cuts are needed so that the warming of the planet can be limited 1,5 degrees. Global emissions must be turned to the path, where the net emissions decrease 45 % by 2030 and to the zero by the middle of the century To achievable changes which the objective of 1,5 degrees demand are magnitude unforeseeable: the actions to emission cuts are to be made everywhere in the society swiftly and far-reachingly.
The special treatment in taxation of flights
Flights are in Finland and mostly elsewhere almost tax free. Taxes are not collected for example from fuel nor from international passengers. In the Airports and aeroplanes there are large selection of tax free products. Flight travel has been the freeloader in taxation compared to other forms of travel.
The tax free status offers very cheap flights. This temptes people to travel generally by flight and far. Majority of flights are on free time.
Governmental guidance with taxes should encourage people to make environmentally and in future way good solutions, not contrary. The emissions of flights should be in the future be the subject to environmental protection taxes. Development of flight tax should be taken into the Finnish governmental genuine and ambitious climate policy both in national decision-making and in international negotiations.
Expected Growth of Flight traffic
Flight traffic is as a line of business in rapid growth. Last year in the world some 4 billion flight travels was made. Growth was 7 % from previous year, and the amount is estimated to double in 20 years. Helsinki-Vantaa airport anticipates to rapid growth.
Sweden accepted in use of flight tax in April 2018. In the Swedish model the flight tax is targeted to passengers and it varies according to the length of travel, In Euros the tax is 6–40 Euros per flight passenger. The growth of the flight travel has halted after the tax was introduced, although there might be some other reasons also. In Sweden there are the discussion on developing the flight tax to that that it would decrease the climate impacts as efficiently as possible. This would enable the determination of flight tax better taken account the real emissions of the various flights which are affected by the technological innovations and optimizing the flight routes and other logistics.
Beside Sweden various fight taxes are in use for example in Norway, Great Britain, Germany and France. When building the flight tax model in Finland it is good to find out what can be learned from experiences in other countries.