IATA: Tax is not the answer to aviation sustainability


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that the reliance on taxation as the solution for cutting aviation emissions in the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ proposal is counter-productive to the goal of sustainable aviation.

EU policy needs to support practical emission reduction measures such as incentives for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and modernization of air traffic management. “Aviation is committed to decarbonization as a global industry,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General.

“We don’t need persuading or punitive measures like taxes to motivate change. “In fact, taxes siphon money from the industry that could support emissions’ reducing investments in fleet renewal and clean technologies.

“To reduce emissions, we need governments to implement a constructive policy framework that, most immediately, focuses on production incentives for SAF and delivering the Single European Sky.”

Achieving aviation decarbonization requires a combination of measures, these include Sustainable Aviation Fuels,  Market-based measures, Single European Sky (SES), Radical new clean technologies.

“Aviation’s near-term vision is to provide sustainable, affordable air transport for all European citizens with SAF-powered fleets, operating with efficient air traffic management,” said Walsh.

“We should all be worried that the EU’s big idea to decarbonize aviation is making jet fuel more expensive through tax.

“That will not get us to where we need to be. Taxation will destroy jobs. Incentivizing SAF will improve energy independence and create sustainable jobs.

“The focus must be on encouraging the production of SAF, and delivering the Single European Sky.”

The most practical near-term solution to reducing emissions is SAF.

“Making SAF cheaper will accelerate aviation’s energy transition and improve Europe’s competitiveness as a green economy,” said Walsh.

“But making jet fuel more expensive through taxation scores an ‘own goal’ on competitiveness that does little to accelerate the commercialization of SAF.”