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Fundraising flights: a levy on international air travel for adaptation

Tom Birch, Muyeye Chambwera

Briefing, 4 pages

Adapting to climate change will not be cheap: it will cost an estimated tens of billions of dollars each year. But where will the money come from? The UN climate negotiations have set up dedicated funds for the task but domestic politics have resulted in insufficient, variable and unreliable contributions from governments. An innovative adaptation levy on international air travel could help fill the gap. A small charge to individual travellers would raise up to US$10 billion a year. The levy, which follows the ‘polluter pays’ principle, could be implemented very quickly and at minimal cost and would go a long way to raising sums that could make a significant difference.

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