After the corona-related decline in air traffic, it increased again massively in the first half of 2022. “As a result, the climate-damaging emissions from air traffic have also increased. In the first half of the year, air traffic in Austria caused around 900,000 tons of greenhouse gases, more than twice as many as in the first half of 2021,” the mobility organization VCÖ drew attention – and called for countermeasures.
However, greenhouse gas emissions were below the pre-corona level. In the first half of 2019, air traffic in Austria, at 1.45 million tons, caused around 555,000 tons more climate-damaging emissions than in the first six months of this year, the VCÖ informed.
“The energy turnaround in air travel needs to be accelerated. But the switch to synthetically produced kerosene alone is far too little. Firstly, because the production of e-kerosene requires an extremely large amount of energy, secondly, because negative climate effects continue to be caused by contrails and ozone, for example Thirdly, because the changeover will take a long time. But in view of the dramatically worsening climate crisis, effective measures are needed quickly,” emphasized VCÖ expert Lina Mosshammer.
VCÖ: Abolish tax breaks for air travel
That is why preventing and relocating in air traffic is also very important to the VCÖ. The Covid 19 pandemic has shown that many business flights can be replaced by video conferences. The increased shift to the railways is central. “More international rail connections in Europe are needed more quickly. The EU is being asked to take both the Green Deal and its climate targets seriously. The rail infrastructure in international rail traffic must be expanded and modernized quickly,” says Mosshammer.
It is also important “that the tax breaks for air traffic are finally abolished in view of the climate crisis”. “The kerosene tax alone, which has been discussed for many years but has not yet been introduced, subsidizes air traffic in the EU with many billions of euros per year, before Covid-19 it was around 30 billion euros per year. Another 40 billion euros are caused by the lack of VAT Flight tickets, as a study commissioned by the EU Commission in 2019 shows,” says the VCÖ.