A British researcher said in a recently released report that the United Kingdom should ban air-miles programs and tax frequent fliers to help the country reach net-zero carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050.
“Flying is a uniquely high-impact activity and is the quickest and cheapest way for a consumer to increase their carbon footprint,” the report says.
Richard Carmichael, research associate at Imperial College London, wrote the report for The Committee on Climate Change, CNN reported.
The United Kingdom has to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of the Paris Climate Accord, an obligation that the United States does not have since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Obama-era agreement.
The far-left compact was widely criticized, not only by climate skeptics, but also others who saw it as a de facto globalist tax on wealthy Western nations while some of the worst offenders—including China—maintained a competitive advantage by disregarding the provisions.
Carmichael acknowledged in his “Key Findings” that environmentalists do not really know what will happen if they implement their radical proposals, nor whether the returns on the extreme investment will be justified.
“Predicting the levels of change that will be delivered by these interventions is very difficult,” Carmichael wrote. “Policy to deliver rapid societal change and technology adoption is uncharted territory and inherently subject to uncertainty.”
However, as often is true of the liberal agenda, there seemed to be in his proposed conservation strategy the underpinnings of a socialist wealth-redistribution effort to punish the rich.
Carmichael argued that air miles programs incentivize people to keep traveling to maintain their “privileged traveler status.”
He said this encourages “mileage runs”—trips taken for the explicit purpose of earning miles and keep frequent-flier status.
The air-miles tax would mostly affect people who fly too many miles, as defined by researchers.
In Britain, for example, about 15 percent of the population takes 70 percent of the flights. The tax would target them, according to Carmichael.
“Given the scope for frequent flyers to have carbon footprints many times that of the average UK household, a lack of policy in this area is likely to be increasingly seen as inconsistent and unjust and risks damaging public engagement with climate action,” the report says.