State minister proposes ban on domestic flights in Germany
The environment minister of the city state of Hamburg has called for the introduction of a tax on airplane fuels and said that domestic flights should ultimately be banned, the newspaper Die Welt reports, quoting the Hamburger Abendblatt. Levying a tax on kerosene is an issue on a EU level, but Germany should consider national measures, Green politician Jens Kerstan was quoted as saying. Before banning domestic flights, the train system should be improved, he said. He also called for the quick introduction of a socially fair carbon tax and a discussion on speed limits on highways.
Emissions from air travel, a fast-growing source of greenhouse gases, have increasingly shifted into the focus of public attention in recent months both in Germany and across Europe, with leading climate researchers and several politicians calling for radical measures to reduce their impact on global warming. Aviation is currently taxed in different forms in Europe, from VAT on domestic flights to airport taxes, but fuel is exempt from levies. France has recently announced plans to introduce an eco-tax of between 1.50 and 18 euros on flight tickets.