News
07 Mar 2019, 13:34
Benjamin Wehrmann

Aviation emissions under scrutiny at Germany’s largest tourism fair ITB

dpa / airliners.de

The emissions caused by the growing volume of global air travel are a problem that needs to be addressed more vigorously to minimise the effect of international tourism on climate change, environmental organisations have said on the sidelines of Germany’s largest tourism fair ITB in Berlin. In an article by news agency dpa carried by website airliners.de, Michael Kopatz of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy said "we have to set up the right framework” to make aviation more sustainable, for example by taxing kerosene and cutting subsidies for air travel. “Nobody changes their behaviour if you can fly to Mallorca for 29 Euros,” Kopatz said. Laura Jäger of NGO Brot für die Welt said “it’s time for reflection if the taxi to the airport costs more than the flight ticket”, since flying “is the most climate-damaging way to travel”. ITB head David Ruetz, however, said condemning air travel could not be the right way forward. Positive effects of long-distance travel by plane allowed people to broaden their horizons, increase their understanding of other cultures and could bring economically struggling  regions much-needed investments and incomes, Ruetz argued.

Germany’s environment minister Svenja Schulze recently said she was open to a proposal by Belgium to introduce an EU-wide tax on commercial air travel to reduce carbon emissions, but the responsibility for aviation ultimately lies with transport minister Andreas Scheuer. German airline Lufthansa in January announced it will start sourcing synthetic fuel (so-called "kerosyn") made with renewable energy sources to reduce its carbon footprint. In an interview with Clean Energy Wire, Josef Kallo, coordinator of the Research Group Energy Systems Integration at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), said emissions-free aviation is not just a distant vision and could be rolled out within the next 20 years.

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