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Proposed French Environment Tax Will Destroy Jobs, Fail To Decarbonise Aviation: IATA

Airline revenues have fallen an estimated 15 billion dollars, putting about 466,000 jobs at risk, according to IATA analysis.

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The proposed new environmental taxes in France will fail to decarbonise the aviation sector and eliminate 150,000 French aviation jobs, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Friday.

The Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat (CCC) -- a citizens' body created under President Emmanuel Macron -- is proposing a series of measures to curb aviation emissions, including an eco-tax on tickets issued in France, to raise 4.2 billion euros annually. France already imposes some of the heaviest aviation taxes in Europe.

The French civil aviation authority estimates that if implemented the CCC proposal will lead to 150,000 job losses and cost the French economy 5 to 6 billion euros in lost GDP.

Against those economic costs, the measures would reduce emissions by 3.5 million tonnes a year which is less than 1 per cent of France's total emissions.

"This proposal cannot be taken seriously. It is not the time to add 6 billion euros and 150,000 lost jobs to the economic destruction already being levelled on the French aviation sector by COVID-19," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"It will all but eliminate 160,000 jobs that the government is trying to create with 100 billion euros in its economic re-launch plan. In this time of crisis we need coherent policies that will save jobs not policies that will destroy them," he said in a statement.

The aviation industry has global commitments to decarbonise. From 2021, the sector is committed to carbon-neutral growth and airlines globally are working to cut the sector's net carbon footprint to half of 2005 levels by 2050.

Additionally, airlines are subject to the European emissions trading scheme for intra-European operations.

In normal times, the French aviation industry supports about 1.1 million jobs and contributes more than 100 billion euros or about 4.3 per cent of national GDP. The onset of COVID-19 has seen passenger numbers in France plunge 80 per cent since March.

Airline revenues have fallen an estimated 15 billion dollars, putting about 466,000 jobs at risk, according to IATA analysis. France will this year lose its position as the world's ninth biggest travel market. 


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