Government gifting airlines free money to pollute the environment

Easy Jet - Pixabay

UK airlines have been given permits to pollute freely without having to pay climate-warming emissions.

In 2021 aviation polluters were given £242 worth of free CO2 allowances, as revealed in a study carried out by green group Transport and Environment (T&E). This was supposed to reduce carriers’ emissions.

The study exposes how the £3.4 million that UK Emissions Trading Scheme was forced to surrender under the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) has been massively overshadowed by the £4.4 million in allowances in 2021. The scheme equates one tonne of carbon with one allowance, which airlines must surrender for the carbon produced from all UK-departing flights to other UK destinations, the European Economic Area, and Gibraltar.

UK director at T&E Matt Finch has described the scheme, intended to reduce aviation emissions and prevent “carbon leakage”, as granting ‘get out of jail free cards’ to polluting airlines. However, carbon leakage in aviation has been shown in studies to be minimal to non-existent. Long haul flights, not included in the scheme, have been shown to produce the most carbon emissions and in 2019 only 14% of British Airways’ emissions were covered by pricing policies.

The scheme has had incredibly damaging effects on the current global climate and the excess allowances awarded by the Government is yet another example of public services paid for by tax payers’ money.

Amongst the beneficiaries of this scheme are well known airlines Easy Jet, Ryanair and British Airways.


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Image - Annie Dabb
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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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