It is time for a super tax to curb private air travel - join our calls for a £1000 levy on all private jet users who take off from Scotland, to tackle the huge climate impact from private flights.
Europe is burning, with one of the worst heat waves on record raging across the continent. The planet has experienced its hottest days on record. The climate emergency is happening, here and now.
But the world’s richest are carrying on like normal. Last year, there were over 10,000 private flights at Scotland’s airports, and 2,000 business flights. And emissions from private jets are on the increase - up 31% across Europe since 2005.
Just 1% of people cause 50% of global aviation emissions - it’s time for us to say their private jets are not welcome in Scotland.
In 2017, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill to create a new, devolved tax to replace Air Passenger Duty, but it’s never been rolled out.
We’re calling for this tax to be brought in, and include a levy of £1000 for every passenger leaving Scotland on a private jet.
Sign our letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, Mairi McAllan, calling on the Scottish Government to urgently bring in the new super tax, to drive down private jet flights in Scotland and make sure the rich pay the price for their climate wrecking behaviour.
Dear Cabinet Secretary,
This summer has seen record temperatures across Europe and around the world, once again demonstrating the immediacy of the climate crisis.
Crises need urgent action. That’s why we, the undersigned, are writing to you to ask that you urgently progress the roll out of Air Departure Tax in Scotland, and include a higher rate of £1000 per passenger for those leaving Scotland on private jets.
The Civil Aviation Authority reports there were over 10,000 private movements (excluding aero-club movements) and 2,000 business movements at airports in Scotland in 2022, showing there is a significant issue of private jets in Scotland.
The use of private jets has a disproportionate climate impact, with the European Federation for Transport and Environment reporting that just 1% of the world’s population are responsible for 50% of emissions from air travel.
And these emissions are increasing, with emissions from private jets across Europe up by 35% since 2005.
The vast majority of private flights pay no VAT and most passengers only pay the same rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD) as first or business class passengers on commercial flights, despite private jets being used by some of the world’s wealthiest people.
Scotland has the opportunity, through the new Air Departure Tax, to bring in a banded tax with a top rate of £1,000 per passenger for everyone leaving Scotland on private jets.
This could initially raise £50m - £100m per year, which could be spent on climate mitigation projects and supporting more sustainable travel options for the public, though the ultimate aim would be to disincentive private jet travel in Scotland and reduce their use to a minimum.
Whilst our powers over aviation remain limited in Scotland, a super-tax is a workable and urgent way we could make real progress to cut our emissions from air travel. It’s time for Scotland to show leadership and tax the super-rich who are fuelling the burning of our planet.