By Ian Drury
Lord Turner wants the Government to restrict the number of flights individuals can take each year
Millions of families could be barred from taking holidays abroad under a proposal to ration flights.
Gordon Brown’s ‘environment tsar’ is calling for limits on how many plane journeys travellers can take each year.
Lord Turner suggested that Britons might have to cut back on their overseas breaks.
He said the Government should urgently consider imposing individual restrictions to help reduce pollution caused by planes.
Lord Turner, chairman of Parliament’s climate change committee, said: ‘We will have to constrain demand in an absolute sense, with people not allowed to make as many journeys as they could in an unconstrained manner.’
His remarks will anger business and tourism groups, as well as infuriating those who make regular trips abroad.
The airline industry is also fiercely opposed to limits on flights.
But Lord Turner insists that the Prime Minister must take action to cut aviation pollution.
His committee is drawing up a report into whether the airline industry can meet a target of limiting its emissions to below their 2005 levels by 2050.
Under Lord Turner’s plan, the extra runway – part of a £9billion expansion of the [Heathrow] airport – would work at only half of its capacity in order to curb emissions.
Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, has promised that the runway will be capped at 125,000 annual flights – fewer than the originally planned 220,000 – until 2020.
Families could be barred from taking holidays abroad if Lord Turner’s suggestion is taken up by Gordon Brown
The Government has already doubled air passenger duty to £10 for short-haul flights and £80 for long-haul journeys, a move which costs travellers £1billion a year. The aim was to make flying less attractive.
Last year, the Government floated the idea of ‘personal carbon trading’, a green scheme for compulsory fuel and air ticket rationing.
The idea, recommended by an all-party committee of MPs, was that every adult would be given an annual carbon allowance and a ‘carbon ration card’ to use each time they buy petrol, oil, gas, electricity and flights.
Anyone who exceeded these rations would have to pay to top up a ‘carbon bank’.
Officials estimated the start-up cost at up to £2billion, with a further £1billion to £2billion in annual running costs to pay for the 45million ration cards which would have to be produced and for the vast database to store the information.