Labour must commit to roll-out of Air Departure Tax to cut emissions

Cutting air miles is key to hitting net zero.

A future UK Labour Government must work with Holyrood to deliver the rollout of Scotland’s Air Departure Tax to drive down aviation, say the Scottish Greens.

Air Departure Tax was created by the Scottish Parliament in 2016, but has yet to be introduced due to the UK Treasury’s refusal to allow an exemption for lifeline island flights. 

Last week, as a part of plans supported by the Scottish Greens, it was confirmed that Scotland intends to use Air Departure Tax to reduce ‘demand management’ and to deter frequent flyers as part of those efforts.

The call comes amidst reports that emissions from UK flights are rapidly approaching pre-pandemic levels.

The Scottish Greens climate spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP, said: “There’s no credible route to net zero without cutting air miles. 

“We urgently need to reduce the number of flights that are taking off and landing in Scotland, with a particular focus on shifting frequent business travellers away from high carbon aviation and onto low-carbon rail. Taxation has a key role to play in that transition. 

“Air Departure Tax may be devolved, but we need the powers and the lifeline exemption to actually deliver it. If the UK government is remotely serious about cutting emissions then that must be applied and fast.

“With Labour set to form the next UK government, I urge them to work positively and constructively with us to deliver on this vital change, rather than against us and against our climate as the Tories have done time and again.”

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