Short-Distance Flight Ban and Carbon Tax - Should the US Follow Europe?

Last year between September and October, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has polled almost 28000 Europeans from all across the European Union on the topic of short-distance flights and carbon tax. The results speak for themselves: 62% support a ban on short-distance flights, and 72% support a carbon tax on all flights.

In general, short-distance flights are described as being shorter than 932 miles or 800 nm. This would include routes like Dallas - Aspen, or Los Angeles - Las Vegas. The aviation industry is considered one of the highest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions - ICAO has measured the 70% increase in greenhouse emissions in 2020 compared to 2005.

Currently, many EU countries operate on the "emissions trading system" or ETS. This system provides air carriers with "emission allowances", which restrict the amount of carbon dioxide they can produce. But the allowances can be traded, and their cost is meager. So, although the system exists, it is not effective.

So, the EIB, with the support of many EU citizens, have been trying to lower the emissions, even if it means an increase in plane ticket prices and in the cost of air travel in general although it might not impact private aviation as much as commercial, however, the prices would undoubtedly increase.

Should the US go the same route? Maybe a short-distance flight ban might work for Europe, but with a country as big as the USA this would do more harm than good. But it's impossible to deny the climate change, and that it's our own collective responsibility to stop it. Maybe the effort should start not with taxes and price increases, but by traveling responsibly. For example, you can find people to share your flight by using our JetShare program. By sharing a jet, you can reduce the carbon footprint and, maybe, make some new friends!

Source: EIB Annual Climate Survey

May 05, 2020