Greens push for airport tax on private jet usage in Germany
Despite the urgency of the climate crisis being awarded greater mainstream attention in recent years, 2022 saw a record number of private jet flights across the globe. Now, Germany’s Green Party want to impose greater taxes on the super rich's favourite mode of transport.
Greens float imposing private jet airport fees in Germany
“Private jet flights are paid for by the general public - through the infrastructure they use and, above all, through the damage they cause to health, the climate and the environment,” Green Party transport policy spokesperson Stefan Gelbhaar told FAZ last week.
The Greens would like to impose higher fees on private jets using airports in Germany, and for the flights that remain after the fee is added, Gelbhaar says that jet owners should use more sustainable fuels. “They have the financial means to finally kick off e-fuel initiatives,” the Berlin politician added.
Austria, France and the Netherlands have already announced plans to impose stricter regulations on private jets, with Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam recently announcing that it will ban private jets from using the Dutch airport from 2026. The French government has also called on Brussels to tighten regulations on private jet usage across the EU.
Speaking to FAZ, Gelbhaar said that he believed imposing a Germany-wide private jet ban would be legally difficult. Instead, he said that he hopes Germany could become the pioneer of carbon-neutral flying and instead make a jet ban moot.
German private jets produced 10 million tonnes of CO2 in 2022
If adopted, Gelbhaar’s suggestion would be a significant step towards discouraging environmentally damaging transportation habits in the country.
According to a 2022 Greenpeace report on private aviation in Europe, Germany is the country with the third highest private jet traffic. In the federal republic, almost three-quarters of the flights that took off were on routes shorter than 500 kilometres, with journeys from Munich to Berlin and Hamburg to the wealthy holiday island of Sylt being the most popular flight plans used by private jets.
Among flights across Germany’s borders, the most popular route was to Mallorca. The shortest chartered flight from a German airport in 2022 was a 22-kilometre hop over Lake Constance between Friedrichshafen and Altenrhein Airport near St. Gallen, Switzerland.
In total, there were 94.000 private jet take-offs from Germany in 2022, which produced around 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the process. On the global stage, according to Oxfam, billionaires are responsible for a million times more greenhouse gas emissions than the average person.
Thumb image credit: VanderWolf Images / Shutterstock.com