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Sweden has introduced a new environmental aviation tax that hopes to mitigate the carbon output of the country’s aviation industry.

Aviation is responsible for about 3%-8% of the world’s total carbon emissions, according to numbers from the US Government Accountability Office. That’s more than South Korea’s total carbon emission. The Swedish government has said that a dramatic uptick in the number of airline passengers is behind the tax.

The hope is by levying a fee of roughly $3-$49 per passenger, depending on the flight’s destination, Sweden’s government can decrease the country’s number of airline passengers, which would mean a decreased carbon output. Swedish officials predict the tax will mean 450,000–600,000 fewer flyers in the country per year, which would mean roughly a 2% reduction in Sweden’s carbon emissions.

A poll in a Swedish newspaper says that more than half of Swedes support the tax. Critics, however, say while the new fee might reduce Sweden’s carbon output, it will likely just shift it to neighboring countries whose airports could pick up the slack. At least one route has already been nixed due to the fee — Norwegian Air’s flight from Karlstad (KSD) to Alicante (ALC). Norwegian also told the Swedish government that the tax might interfere with the carrier’s goal of making Stockholm one of its major hubs, Business Insider Nordic reports.

Airports Council International found that global passenger airline traffic increased 4.9% year-over-year in January 2018, including a 5.2% uptick at the world’s 20 busiest airports.

H/T: Travel + Leisure

Featured photo of Scandinavian Airlines jetliner taking off from the Stockholm Arlanda International airport. (Photo by ArtesiaWells/Getty Images)

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