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Photo: Copenhagen Airports

Danes support climate taxes – except air travel

Although the public broadly supports the idea of new or expanded fees to flight climate change, fewer people say this should include air travel.

As the Danish government prepares a new climate plan, expected to be presented later this year, the country’s aviation players will be relieved to learn that less than 40% of respondents in a new survey say they support raising taxes on air travel in an effort to help the environment.

Most Danes are behind the idea of putting extra fees on goods and services that damage the environment, the poll conducted by Kantar Gallup on behalf of the newspaper Berlingske finds, as also reported by the news agency Ritzau and The Local.

Of the respondents, 57% support the introduction or expansion of charges for goods that harm the environment.

Perhaps in the wake of a blistering summer, the findings reflect a shift in public perception about the importance of fighting climate change.

“When so many people are positively inclined towards a tax, that suggests that we are not scared of increased costs on everyday goods,” Professor Sebastian Mernild, the author of an upcoming UN climate report, tells Berlingske.

“It also indicates that people do not believe we can solve our problems via individual actions – rather that political action is required.”

Restricting travel
Yet in the same survey, only 39% of respondents support raising fees on air travel.

As Jens Joel, a climate spokesperson for the Danish party the Social Democrats, explains: “If you stop people who regularly travel by air from flying you will need very high fees, and that will place large income groups out of reach.”

He adds that his party would prefer international agreements to regulate air traffic.

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