Plane is the most polluting mode of transport, but also the least taxed. Globally, it emits as much CO2 as a country like Japan (5th largest emitter in the world). In France, it represents 7% of the country's total CO2 emissions. Furthermore, contrails and nitrogen oxides from planes also contribute significantly to atmospheric warming: they multiply between 2 and 3 times the impact of aviation on the rise in temperature on the surface of the globe, and it is rising exponentially with the growth of the sector.
Unfortunately, today in France, it is cheaper to put a liter of kerosene in a plane than a liter of gasoline in your car. Kerosene is the only fuel that is not taxed: it is part of what is called a tax niche. However, the plane is the most polluting and least egalitarian mode of transport.
Camille Etienne, young French climate activist, and a group of associations and activists, Greenpeace, Oxfam, ANV-COP21, Alternatiba Paris, regroop, le Réseau Action Climat et Rester sur Terre... launched a petition asking kerosene of planes departing from France to be taxed at the same level as car fuel.
"This measure is necessary to reduce the environmental impact of the air sector to the benefit of other modes of transport such as the train. The gains could make it possible to develop railway lines and finance train passes for the youngest and most precarious" said Camille Etienne. " "It is unthinkable in 2023 to imagine that the transport which contributes the most to climate change and which threatens living conditions on earth is the one which is most supported by public money. Mobility must also be fair. It must be part of the solution, not part of the problem. This is why we are launching this petition and a whole series of associated actions before the summer, to try to put an end to the hegemony of the plane".
The amount of this tax could make a difference for the climate and social justice, especially if it were reinjected into the development of rail transport, which emits up to 100 times less greenhouse gas per kilometer than planes. Here are some of the measures that could be put in place:
• Creation of passes for the youngest and most precarious;
• Reopening or revitalization of transverse lines not passing through Paris;
• Implementation of new night lines to replace domestic flights and intra-European flights up to 1500 km;
• Redevelopment of small lines and reopening of small stations in the territory.
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This is very concerning