France to implement 'ecotax' on plane tickets beginning 2020

Air France said it opposed the

Passengers flying outside of the bloc from France will pay a €3 tax in economy-class and €18 in business class, said Elisabeth Borne, the French transport minister.

Borne told a news conference that she expects the new tax will raise raise 180million euros (£160million) per year from when it is introduced.

"We have made a decision to put in place an eco-tax on all flights from France", Ms Borne said during a news conference on Tuesday.

Under the plan, nearly all outbound flights from France will be taxed, with the size of tax differing depending on destinations or ticket types.

Shares of Air France and Lufthansa extended losses and were down 4.5% and 2.5% respectively following the announcement.

Germany, Italy and some Nordics nations also have ticket taxes.

"With the eco-contribution, air transport will play its part in financing the daily transport of all our citizens", Borne said via Twitter. Placing a carbon tax on something like global air travel, which is typically a luxury and not a basic need, puts the burden of paying for carbon offsets on people who can most afford it and are emitting the most carbon.

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Other countries that already have "eco" taxes on flights are the United Kingdom and Germany.

"The government is finally targeting tax breaks for the most polluting industries such as trucking and airlines, but these modest measures will not significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions", said Climate Action Network's Lorelei Limousin.

"National taxes will do nothing to assist the aviation industry in its sustainability efforts", IATA spokesman Anthony Concil said, warning that instead of helping airlines invest in cleaner fuels and technology, the tax could end up harming the French aviation industry and jeopardise jobs.

Industry group IATA, which favours a system that allows airlines to offset their emissions by paying for carbon reduction efforts elsewhere, called the French ticket charge "misguided".

Andrew Murphy, an air travel specialist at T&E, said the new policy was "a more equitable tax".

A planned tax on gas and diesel, for instance, sparked such an intense backlash that even after it was suspended, yellow vest or gilets jaunes protesters have become a force in France's public debate over how the government should be run, and how people should respond to a changing climate.

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