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Citizens' initiative calling for passenger flight tax handed to MPs

A similar system in Sweden charges passengers between six and 40 euros depending on the duration of their flights.

Airbus A321
The sponsors of the motion argue financial measures are needed to help re-shape people’s transportation habits. Image: Susan & Allan Parker / AOP

A citizens’ initiative calling for the introduction of a passenger flight tax was handed in to Parliament on Wednesday morning.

The initiative accumulated just over 54,000 signatures during the six months from the time it was set up May last year and the time it closed at the beginning of November.

The sponsors of the motion have argued that emissions from flying accelerate climate and that financial measures are needed to help re-shape people’s travel habits.

"Flying is currently far too cheap. Finns are second in the world when it comes to air travel. Flying is now the cheapest and fastest way to increase [our] carbon footprint," one of the sponsors, Silja Jääskeläinen, told Yle.

The initiative does not specify the size of the levy, but calls on lawmakers to determine whether or not it could vary depending on the climate impact of different types of air travel and whether or not tax revenues could be used for climate policy.

They also point to neighbouring Sweden, where depending on the duration of a flight, passengers are required to pay a tax of between six and 40 euros. That system was introduced in April 2018, following which the growth of commercial aviation stopped.

"A passenger flight tax should be fixed so that it results in the most effective impact possible on environmental policy," the sponsors declared.

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