German Greens want trains to replace domestic flights in 15 years
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Die Welt
The German Green party is calling for higher taxes on domestic flights and lower taxes on train tickets and an eventual end of domestic flights. A paper by five green parliamentarians, says it’s “high time” short-haul flights were made superfluous. The party proposes doubling funds to expand German railways to 3 billion euros, and gradually introducing a tax on fuel for domestic air travel. In 15 years time, no one should be flying only within Germany anymore, the paper says.
Writing for Die Welt, Daniel Wetzel questions the logic of taxing kerosene for domestic flights, which are “responsible for only 0.3 percent of German CO2 emissions”, while car traffic amounts to 20.8 percent. He says it's "hard to understand" why domestic flights then should be taxed seperately.
Emissions from air travel are rising fast, and have become a focus of public attention in recent months, both in Germany and across Europe. Leading climate researchers and several politicians have called for radical steps to reduce air travel. Aviation is subject to different taxes across Europe, such as VAT on domestic flights and airport taxes, but aeroplane fuel is exempt from levies thanks to an international agreement from 1944.