David Cameron once said that he wanted the coalition to be the \”greenest government ever\” (\”Government to rethink over Heathrow third runway after warning from business leaders\”). That is not going to happen by allowing an expansion of the most damaging form of transport of all.
Planes use huge quantities of fuel, and cause more damage to the climate per litre used than other forms of transport. As well as carbon dioxide, aircraft engines emit nitrogen oxide and water vapour. Water vapour leads to contrails and more cirrus clouds, which warm the Earth\’s surface.
More air travel also means more traffic congestion around the airport, and more noise for local residents. Lobbyists are arguing that we are running out of airport capacity, but instead of increasing supply, we can reduce demand by taxing aviation fuel. This should curtail the absurdity of people flying to eastern Europe for stag weekends, and leave more capacity for business use.
Mr. Mountford, you\’re a fool.
We have an international treaty that tells us we cannot tax aviation fuel. That\’s why we tax passengers instead, the Air Passenger Duty. That APD is already well above the levels of a Pigou Tax as suggested by the Stern Review.
In short, you are ignorant of what you speak of and should thus usefully remain silent.