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ACTE is stepping up its campgain to governments around the world to stop the practice of so-called ”green taxes” and come up with more creative environmental solutions instead.
Speaking to journalists today (22 October) in Munich at the Association”s Global Education Conference, ACTE president Richard Crum said his organisation would oppose the imposition of such taxation ” regardless of the government of origin.
”None of the money from green taxes has been reinvested in infrastructure and the travel industry is being targeted,” said Crum. ”We will aggressively oppose these measures and are working on a specific initiative.”
The president declined to reveal specifically what that new initiative would be, but said it would be unveiled later this year, but Crum mounted a spirited defence of the corporate travel industry”s efforts to head off any government environmental action at the pass.
”The business travel industry has stepped up voluntarily ” from building environmentally sensitive properties, to airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and Air New Zealand being very vocal about biofuels,” said Crum.
”There could be huge improvements [also] if we had better air traffic control (ATC) around the world. Weak ATC systems are taxing people for the privilege of flying around in circles.”
Crum also insisted that green taxes depleted company resources that otherwise could be spent on corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues ” an area that ACTE has led with distinction for some time.
”Few industries can report the kind of progress in CSR as the travel industry,” he said. ”Aircraft manufacturers are making machines that are 20% - 30% more efficient.
”There have been great strides in minimum fuel burn ” this is self-mandated. These green taxes make no sense [and] history tells us that they are unlikely to have any direct effect on our actual goal of reducing the impact that travel has on our environment.”
The ACTE president also trained his sights on the European Union (EU), concerning its Emissions Trading Scheme. The EU, he noted, needed to address chronic overcrowding problems before attempting to tackle air travel with taxes or caps.
”It is unfair to impose an economic penalty on the airlines for governments” failures to maintain ATC systems to keep up with commercial demand,” he said.