A British Sunday newspaper reported that the government could levy new "green
taxes" to halt climate change.
The Mail on Sunday said in early editions Saturday that it had obtained a letter
written puportedly written by Environment Minister David Miliband, to the
treasurer, Gordon Brown, which called for higher taxes on cheap airline flights,
fuel, and high-emission vehicles.
The government should "increase the pace of existing tax measures, broaden them
into sectors where incentives to cut carbon emissions are weak and identify new
instruments to drive progress in tackling greenhouse gas," the newspaper quotes
the letter as saying.
Low-cost airline flights are an area a five pound (US$9.50; €7.45) increase in
taxes, would raise 400 million pounds (US$760 million; €600 million) a year, the
report said. The letter recommends that the government explore a "substantial
increase" in taxes for high-emission vehicles, the newspaper said.
The newspaper quoted an aide to Miliband as saying that the letter contained
only ideas, rather than a package of measures.
On Monday, a report on climate change, commissioned by Brown, is due to be
released. The 700-page report is expected say global warming could cost world
economies trillions of pounds (dollars, euros), the Observer reported.
The newspaper said the report will say the world needs to spend one per cent of
global gross domestic product — which it calculated as 184 billion pounds
(US$349 billion; €274 billion) — to deal with climate change; Otherwise, the
bill would reach into the trillions.
The report will also recommend that a successor to the Kyoto accord should be
signed next year rather than waiting for 2010 or 2011 because of the urgency of
the problem, the Observer said.