Potential Increasing Prices to Fly in Germany

Germany is discussing whether to increase flight prices for environmental reasons

May 24th, 2019
Gianluca Rella, News from Berlin
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Germany is considering to introduce a tax on carbon emissions from flights. "It is not possible that a train journey in Germany is more expensive than a flight. Air traffic must be reasonably taxed ", says Environment Minister Svenja Schulze.

Many travelers choose to travel by plane due to the low cost of flights, especially domestic ones. Germany would like to raise airline ticket prices to achieve its environmental goals and discourage air travel.

The idea of ​​taxing CO2 emissions from flights was discussed by the Klimatkabinett ministers and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). The final decision will be taken in September, when Germany will participate in the United Nations climate summit. European air traffic is already regulated by an agreement and Germany currently charges between € 7.38 - € 41.49 per flight ticket, but this fee is not environmental. The novelty, in fact, would be to set a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

The model to which Schulze aims is the French one. While waiting for a European agreement to be reached, the Macron government has announced that it intends to introduce an eco-tax of € 1.5 for economy class flights and € 18 for the first class. The French government would like to invest in more ecological infrastructures, for example trains, as declared by the Minister of Transport Elisabeth Borne. The strategy was planned after the failure of the increase in fuel prices, which triggered the protests of the gilets jaunes. The criticisms, however, have been felt in Germany. The commentator Gerhard Hegmann considers the French plans as mere "symbolic eco-policies", which will not prevent people from travelling by plane.

The idea of ​​setting a price on carbon dioxide emissions aims to achieve the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement. Germany would like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990. The country is currently the sixth nation in the world for CO2 emissions. The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization estimates that 2% of global emissions are caused by commercial flights. A flight boycott campaign has been trying for years to raise awareness of the issue  of gas emissions by aircraft and it seems that German government is becoming aware of this urgency to keep on tackling climate change.


News from Berlin