UK public wants air miles banned to protect the environment

Air miles should be banned because they encourage excessive flying, according to a report commissioned by the government’s climate change advisers.

Frequent flyers should be hit by an “escalating air miles levy” to put them off flying too much, rather than encouraged by reward schemes, the report says, according to an article in the Independent newspaper in the UK.

The suggestions are aimed at the 15 per cent of the UK population estimated to be responsible for 70 per cent of flights, many of whom take additional flights to “maintain their privileged traveller status”.

The report by Imperial College London, commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), also suggests flights should advertise their emissions in a simple way easily understood by customers.

The report, Behaviour Change, Public Engagement and Net Zero, was authored by Dr Richard Carmichael.

It said that “high impact shifts in consumer behaviours” were needed for the UK to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, rather than the “small and easy changes” suggested to UK households in the past. It added that policy changes were required which were “consistent with the scale of the climate challenge, build optimism and commitment, and give weight to new ambitious narratives that inspire wide public participation”.