‘Travel industry needs to admit it’s a polluter and pay its taxes’

By Linsey McNeill
27/11/2022
Home » ‘Travel industry needs to admit it’s a polluter and pay its taxes’

Travel industry veteran Steve Endacott says the travel industry should pay taxes on its carbon emissions to fund CO2 removal schemes.

Alternatively, Steve said airlines should join forces to introduce a compulsory carbon offset programme.

If nothing is done, he said flying could be seen as anti-social of smoking.

Writing in his monthly blog, Steve said: “The travel sector does need to openly admit it will not be carbon neutral by 2030 or any time soon and address what it does to compensate for this.

“If it doesn’t, flying could quickly become the equivalent of smoking and be seen by younger generations as a polluting/anti-social behaviour.”

He said a ‘simple solution’ could be compulsory carbon offsetting for every flight, with funds generated used for carbon removal programmes.

Steve wrote that he has ‘invested/donated substantial funds’ to develop modular hemp farming containers, which he said are four times more effective per acre at extracting CO2.

“The bottom line is that all extraction schemes need funding, and the best route is via ‘taxation’ on polluting activities,” he wrote.

“However, can we trust the UK Government not just to pocket any carbon offsetting tax in the same way it pockets APD tax (Air Passenger Duty), with no explanation on how it is spent or why it is even charged, apart from that it’s an easy stealth tax?

“The UK travel industry needs to admit it’s a polluter and pay its taxes, whilst ensuring they are well spent on reducing carbon emissions.

“If this cannot be done via our Government, then the major airlines need to join forces and operate a compulsory carbon offsetting program themselves.”

Steve said ‘travel will always be a force for good’, but added that ‘it needs to clean up its image via offsetting in the short-term and less polluting fuels or power sources such as hydrogen in the longer term’.

“In my opinion, we do not need to stop flying to save the planet, but we do need to compensate for the miles we fly to enjoy our holidays and drive change elsewhere,” he added.

He said the travel industry should also ‘widen the debate and focus customers’ minds on the bigger CO2 issues’, which, if dealt with, would allow people ‘ to continue to travel with a clear conscience’.

Steve, who is Chairman and Director of electric car leasing company Eco, claimed individuals can cut their Co2 emissions by 29% by switching from a petrol to an electric car, while he said that changing from a gas to electric boiler or ground-source heating system could reduce the 41% of emissions that come from homes in the UK.

But he admitted switching to electric comes with its own problems. “What’s the point of moving the UK population to clean EV cars and electric heating, if they are powered by expensive and ‘dirty’ electricity?” he added, pointing out that 50% of the UK’s electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels, and there is not yet a commitment from the Government to invest in nuclear power.

“In my opinion, we do not need to stop flying to save the planet, but we do need to compensate for the miles we fly to enjoy our holidays and drive change elsewhere,” he added.

“Let’s act now to protect the industry we love.”

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