Airlines stop short-haul flights, say German Greens


German Green Party candidate for chancellor Annalena Baerbock plans to cut jet fuel subsidies and abolish short-haul flights if she comes to power, she told the weekly Bild am Sonntag.

The Greens are leading the polls ahead of Germany’s September 26 elections, with a very good chance of joining the next coalition government or even taking over the chancellery.

The party, born in 1980 from the environmental movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, is increasingly concerned about climate change, especially among young Germans demanding accelerated change.

Baerbock told the newspaper that she was in favor of introducing climate-friendly tax on flights, essentially ending low-cost deals like a trip from Germany to Mallorca for € 29.

“I don’t think it’s fair that jet fuel is subsidized with all of our taxes, when long-distance train travel is expensive, especially at peak times,” Baerbock said.

“A family traveling by train should pay less for a train ticket than for short-haul flights. Short-haul flights should no longer exist in the long term. “

In Germany, jet fuel is exempt from energy taxes. On international flights, it also comes from value added tax.

The German Federal Environment Agency says all air travel only earns 10 percent of the tax generated by road or rail.

Baerbock added that she would introduce an “emergency climate protection program” if she was elected to chancellery. Such a program would include mandatory solar panels for new buildings.

Six in 10 polls published in the past two weeks instead show an advantage for the Greens, who climbed to sixth place when Germany last went to the polls in 2017. A poll released by the pollster on Sunday Kantar and newspaper Bild am Sonntag gave the Greens a three-point lead, on 27 percent.

The global poll, published by Pollytix Strategic Research, puts the Greens in the lead for the first time since June 2019.

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