Long ago, in a land far, far away, where it seemed possible that carbon cap-and-trade would be a thing that we all got on board with, the European Union decided it would make sense to include air travel in its carbon trading scheme, because flying on planes is one of the most carbon-intensive activities that humans engage in. But — psych! — turned out no one (*cough* Congress *cough*) really wanted to deal with carbon. The E.U., however, did not get that memo and still wants to charge American airlines for the carbon they emit on their way to Europe. Here's how that's playing out so far:
The U.S. airline industry: NO FAIR! We'll see you in court, suckers!
The European Union: Um, ok, well, they're our courts. And we're going to recommend that we charge you for carbon, because, guess what?? International law says that's ok!
The E.U. says the extra charge won't be more than $10 per ticket, but an air industry group says it could be more like $45. Either way, you'd still pay more to eat anything other than a baguette with butter in Paris. And, given the way air travel currently works, you’ll probably pay more just for the privilege of bringing your luggage along.
Get Grist in your inbox