Week 13, March 30: Sustainable Aviation
This is one of the 26 segments of Guy Dauncey’s Climate Emergency: A 26-Week Transition Program for Canada. Excerpted by permission.
Domestic and international aviation produced 21 Mt of CO2e in 2017 (14.34 Mt international, 6.67 Mt domestic), representing 3% of Canada’s emissions. Emissions are rising by 1 Mt a year. Fuel consumption and GHG emissions rose by 65.5% between 2005 and 2017, averaging 4.3% per year, in spite of a 17.6% increase in aircraft fuel efficiency. Progress towards the targets in Canada’s Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aviation is insufficient to keep up with the increased number of passengers and flights.
- To discourage non-essential flights, starting in 2022 we will ban the use of air miles and frequent flyer reward schemes. There are 220 frequent flyer clubs with an estimated membership of 200 million across the world, many of whom take additional flights to maintain their privileged traveller status.
- We will introduce a Frequent Flyer Levy, with the first 5,000 kilometres (Vancouver to St John’s Newfoundland) for each Canadian being free, and a levy of $7 per 1,000 kilometres being charged for each subsequent flight, increasing by $2 per flight for each subsequent flight within the year, with no upper limit. Thus after an initial levy-free flight, a 7,000-kilometre trip from Vancouver to Heathrow would cost an additional $49, a second such flight would cost $63, and so on.
- The fees will not apply to airlines which use electric airplanes, such as Harbour Air, based in Victoria. Flights for emergency reasons will be exempt. Northern and remote communities will be exempt. The fees will not be a deductible expense. The use of private jets will no longer qualify as a tax-deductible business expense.
- Proceeds from the levy will contribute to a C$100-million-per-year Zero Emissions Aviation Fund, offering $50 million in grants and prizes and $50 million in interest-free loans to help airline companies research electric, hydrogen, synthetic fuels, zero-emissions-life cycle biofuels, or other solutions. This will amplify the work being done in Natural Resources Canada’s The Sky’s the Limit Challenge. Cost: $100 million a year. (#32)
- We will work with other nations and sharpen our advocacy at the International Civil Aviation Organization to levy a global carbon tax on all aviation.