No reason why shipping and airlines ‘should not be taxed on carbon’

International shipping and airlines should be officially included in emissions laws, suggests a new report out today from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the Government’s independent climate advisers. At the […]

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By Vicky Ellis

International shipping and airlines should be officially included in emissions laws, suggests a new report out today from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the Government’s independent climate advisers. At the moment, rules which govern carbon emissions don’t include the two industries.

When the Climate Change Act became law in 2008, these were initially left out of carbon budgets and the 2050 target to cut emissions by 80%. The UK’s carbon budgets are a cap on the total quantity of greenhouse gases emitted within a certain time.

The decision to include them was pushed back to 2012. Now the deadline has come around, the CCC says the legal curb on emissions for air travel and shipping should be set in stone so they can’t be dropped by future governments.

Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the CCC said: “Including international aviation and shipping emissions in UK carbon budgets has an importance which goes beyond the specific issue of international aviation and shipping. This report makes a recommendation which, if now accepted by government and Parliament, will complete the UK statutory framework.”

The report, called ‘Scope of carbon budgets – Statutory advice on inclusion of international aviation and shipping’ recommends increasing the current carbon budgets.

It suggests the UK’s current budgets should be upped for aviation based on the UK share of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme cap, so around 31 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, while shipping should be added at around 9 MtCO2e per year.

A DECC spokesperson said the department will “consider this advice carefully in reaching our decision” which is due by the end of this year.