Pressure on UK to back carbon pricing for airlines to meet climate targets
The UK is under increasing pressure from the European Union to end free carbon permits for airlines in order to meet its targets for fighting against climate change.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to provide details on how Britain intended to meet its climate targets before the Cop26 conference later in 2021.
Downing Street is concerned that a dramatic push by governments on the climate change front, including the goal of reducing emissions 78% by 2035, could push the cost of transportation fuel higher and trigger a rebellion by Tory backbenchers.
The pressure follows the German government's backing for an EU-designed package of initiatives, with a dozen more climate policies expected to be unveiled in July with the aim of ending greenhouse gas emissions.
Included among them are a reform of the EU's carbon market and a border levy to impose CO2 costs on imported goods. European lawmakers in Strasbourg still need to vote on the new measures.
In a document detailing its position on the package and seen by Reuters, Germany backed the Commission's plan to impose CO2 prices on transport and heating in buildings through a system separate from the EU's existing carbon market.
"The long term goal should be to have a uniform cross-sector carbon price in the EU," the document said.
Brussels current stated goal was to cut the bloc's net C02 emissions by 55% by 2030.
However, the plan to take the system EU-wide is generating concerns from some EU governments and lawmakers, who fear it could hike household fuel bills and affect low-income households negatively.