IATA warned that a proposed new environmental tax in France will fail to decarbonize the aviation sector and eliminate 150,000 French aviation jobs.

The Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat (CCC) is proposing an eco-tax on tickets issued in France to raise €4.2 billion euros annually. But the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) estimates that if implemented the CCC proposal would lead to 150,000 job losses and cost the French economy €5-6 billion in lost GDP.

Against those economic costs, the measures would reduce emissions by 3.5 million tonnes a year, which is less than 1% of France’s total emissions.

“This proposal cannot be taken seriously,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “In this time of crisis, we need coherent policies that will save jobs not policies that will destroy them.”

In any case, the aviation industry has global commitments to decarbonize. From 2021 the sector is committed to carbon-neutral growth, and airlines globally are working to cut the sector’s net carbon footprint to half of 2005 levels by 2050.

Additionally airlines are subject to the European emissions trading scheme for intra-European operations.

“Aviation is a leader in decarbonizing—the first to deliver against global sectoral emissions commitments despite being heavily carbon dependent,” said de Juniac. “If the CCC are really serious about decarbonizing aviation, it should provide the sector with support to achieve its green roadmap.”  

IATA also warned that a unilateral approach to reducing aviation’s emissions could compromise the progress that is being made globally.

The world’s first global carbon offset scheme for an economic sector—the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)—was agreed by governments through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and applies to all international flights.

“If France imposes this debilitating unilateral national tax it could jeopardize CORSIA, an international scheme that will mitigate a billion tonnes of carbon emissions,” said de Juniac. “The net environmental impact of the CCC proposal will be horrendous if doing so gives large emitters or developing nations an excuse not to support CORSIA.”

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