Ahead of the climate summit in Copenhagen later in the year, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has approached the International Civil Aviation Organization to enlist support towards a coordinated response vis-a-vis environmentally-orientated charges and levies, or in some cases such charges being introduced under the mere pretext of combating global warming to fill empty government coffers. This meeting of the minds is taking place prior to ICAO’s own meeting on climate change in early October, where the world-wide body of civil aviation regulators will map out their strategy for Copenhagen.
A number of countries are reportedly considering the introduction of various levies, while some others have already gone ahead with new charges, however, only a few of them are actually financing the mitigating measures. UNWTO is particularly concerned about not just a duplication, but a multiplication and proliferation of charges, which when combined, may have a deterring affect on the cost of holidays and flights, hurting the tourism industry for the long haul, without actually doing much towards its publicly-announced purpose.
ICAO is also lobbying governments to be mindful of the impact of ill-considered charges, pointing to efforts of aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and fuel companies to reduce emissions for the next generation of aircraft presently under development. UNWTO and ICAO are considered potential allies in not just lobbying, but mainly the development of mitigating measures and a unifying system of charges affordable by the aviation and tourism sectors without taking the eye off the environment and its protection.
The global Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change is due to kick off in just over 3 months and is considered, after the largely failed Kyoto Conference, one of mankind’s last chances to address the impact of climate change and mitigate it now or else have our children’s children face the music of natural disasters of unimaginable scale.