Levy on international air travel could fund climate change fight
â€¢ Move could be matched by shipping fuel surcharge
international flight tickets and shipping fuel to raise billions of dollars to
help the world’s poorest countries adapt to combat
climate talks in Bonn, where 192 countries are starting to negotiate a global
agreement to limit and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The issue of funding
for adaptation is critical to success but the hardest to agree.
by less than 1%, would raise $10bn ( £6.25bn) a year, it is said.
be matched by a compulsory surcharge on all international shipping fuel, said
Connie Hedegaard, the Danish environment and energy minister who will host the
final UN climate summit in December.
of money. The Danish shipping industry, which is one of the world’s largest,
has said a that truly global system would work well. Denmark would endorse it,”
gaining ground. The idea, known as the “green fund” plan, would oblige all countries
to pay amounts according to a formula reflecting the size of their economy, their
greenhouse gas emissions and the country’s population. That could ensure that
rich countries, which have the longest history of using of fossil fuels, pay the
most to the fund.
Paris as a possible mechanism to help finance a UN pact. The US special envoy
for climate change, Todd Stern, called it “highly constructive”.
texts. These cover greenhouse gas reduction and financing developing countries’
efforts to combat climate change.
Developing countries, backed by the UN, argue that they will need hundreds of
billions of dollars a year to adapt themselves to climate-related disasters, loss
of crops and water supplies, which they are already experiencing as temperatures
around the world rise. Yet so far, as a Guardian investigation revealed back
in February, rich countries have pledged only a few billion dollars and have provided
only a few hundred million.
they have been brought on board [climate negotiations] by promises of financial
support. But all they got was the creation of a couple of funds that stayed
empty. Developing countries will not settle for more ‘placebo funds’,” said
Benito MÃ¼ller, director of Oxford University’s institute for energy studies.
said that until rich countries made serious pledges, the rest of the negotiations
would suffer because it would be impossible to agree actions without knowing how
they would be funded.
$400m to help poor countries adapt to climate change as an interim measure.
But that amount was dismissed as inadequate by Bernarditas Muller of the Philippines,
who is the co-ordinator of the G77 and China group of countries.
absence of tax on aviation fuel. But for practical reasons it is difficult to
tax aviation fuel except as an international tax applied by all countries.
by reducing the tourist trade. Now the 50 least developed nations are actually
proposing a levy on air tickets.