Ban air miles programs to combat ‘climate crisis’, recommends UK research
(CNN) — Air miles programs should be banned and a levy on frequent flyers implemented in order to reduce carbon emissions from aviation, according to new research.
The measure is one of a number of recommendations from Richard Carmichael at Imperial College London, who published a report Thursday on how the UK can meet its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Carmichael carried out his report for the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent body that advises the UK government, which has previously said the country needed to become carbon-neutral by 2050 in order to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The UK later became the first major economy to legally commit to the target. This report does not represent CCC’s recommendations.
“Flying is a uniquely high-impact activity and is the quickest and cheapest way for a consumer to increase their carbon footprint,” the report says.
Air miles programs encourage people to take extra flights to keep up their “privileged traveler status” and should be banned, according to the report.
So-called “mileage runs” are a common way for travelers to top up their points in order to maintain access to perks such as priority boarding.