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France Will Add an Eco-Tax on All Flights Leaving the Country

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French officials announced on Tuesday they'll levy an “eco-tax” of up to roughly $20 on flights departing France in a bid to combat climate change and invest in other, more environmentally friendly transportation.

The Independent reports that French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne announced the new tax will take effect in 2020. The new fees will range from 1.5 euros ($1.70 USD) for short-haul flights within Europe to 18 euros ($20 USD) for long-haul flights in business class.

It won't apply to flights that land in France, nor to flights that connect through the country or several regional exceptions. The eco-tax is expected to generate over $200 million annually, which the country will put toward trains and other modes of transportation.


Our Analysis

France's move to take action on plane emissions is part of a growing trend toward offsetting the ecological impact of air travel. As the pressure to respond to climate concerns grows, it's highly likely we'll see other airlines and countries follow suit.

And while no one wants to pay more in airfare, it's worth noting that these new taxes pale in comparison to the hundreds of dollars in fees travelers throughout Europe are already paying at airports like London-Heathrow (LHR).

If you're concerned about your own travel impact on the environment, learn how you can offset your travel carbon footprint.


Bottom Line

France has made one of the first moves to try to combat air pollution by adding a new tax on airfare departing the country. But we're betting it won't be the last.


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