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Should Switzerland impose strict annual quotas on air travel for each resident?

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Should Switzerland impose strict annual quotas on air travel for each resident?
Planes take off and land at Geneva airport. Photo: AFP
09:53 CEST+02:00
The controversial new proposal in Switzerland aimed at protecting the environment has prompted a heated row just two weeks before the parliamentary elections on October 30th.

The idea has been proposed by Socialist member of the parliament Roger Nordmann.

He believes the government should introduce an annual quota of kilometres that every Swiss resident can travel each year by plane.

When the limit is reached and a traveler who would like to fly again, he or she could buy unused miles from another resident.

Needless to say his radical proposal has provoked a backlash among other members of parliament. 

"We are moving further and further away from the free market and getting closer and closer to communism", said Christian Imark, from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party.

For the Liberal-Radical Party, the measure would create “a bureaucratic monster”.

Even the Greens are speaking against the proposal believing it would send out the wrong message.

"That would mean that everyone has a quota of emissions to pollute the environment and that's a bad signal. On the contrary, we should quickly achieve complete neutrality, "said Regula Rytz, the party’s president.

Like many of its supporters, the Greens advocate raising the price of airplane tickets to discourage excessive air travel.

The Swiss fly on average nearly 9,000 kilometres per year, almost double the figure calculated in neighboring countries.

In September the parliament decided to impose a tax ranging from CHF30 to CHF120 on airline tickets to lower air traffic.

The measure will be passed at the next session of the National Council in December.

 

 
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