Britain has just announced a plan that promotes the use of clean energy in developing countries. The originality of this initiative lies in its funding: whenever a minister or a member of the government travels by plane, his department will have to pay a tax. The new plan will be implemented next month with at least three participating ministries, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FCO) and the Department for International Development. DFID). These departments are those whose employees travel most. They could fund this fund up to 500.000 pounds each year. An independent body will be responsible for calculating the sum due to each trip according to the number of kilometers traveled and the altitude.
Indeed, the scientific community agrees is that a service aircraft pollute more at high altitude has low altitude. This funding will be used for projects such as solar ovens in India or the improvement of the insulation system in homes in South Africa. The ecologists are satisfied with a measure that aims responsible with respect to emission of CO2.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is not officially part of this new plan. Some British officials do not wish to draw attention to the role of transport in Climate Change as emissions from cars and planes increase.
DEFRA hope however to engage the DfT at the earliest. John Gummer, former Conservative Minister for the Environment, stated the excellent and innovative idea, however this should not, in his view, hide the increase in the aviation sector emission and governmental inaction around this problem.