Anthony Loke: Airlines may charge extra fees for carbon emissions

THE Transport Ministry (MOT) has agreed to allow airlines to impose extra fees to cover their carbon emissions, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

He said certain airlines would adopt the fee to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) while others would pay carbon credit to offset their carbon emissions.

“Malaysia will also take certain steps but at this point, it will not be mandatory for all airlines.”

Loke was speaking to reporters after his ministry’s ‘Sua Kasih Madani’ programme held in Putrajaya today.

He was asked to comment on Singapore’s decision to impose a green fuel levy on flights from 2026 and whether Malaysia would undertake a similar decision.

He said for Malaysia, airlines are encouraged to adopt SAF, however, it comes with a cost.

“Some airlines have written to the ministry to request to be allowed to make certain changes for carbon levy, but that is not mandatory for airlines,” Loke said.

He said airlines have yet to start the levy as there would be amendments under the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Code of Conduct) Regulations 2018.

“It will come with very minimal cost. Firstly our objective is not to burden the consumer, but on the other hand, we have this obligation, that every country must fulfil this obligation on carbon reduction.”

While raising concern that it is important to balance between environmental obligations and consumer interest, Loke said imposing too much levy would ‘kill’ the industry and the economy, as well as discourage people from flying.

“So we are making a balancing act while we understand the burden faced by airlines to reduce carbon emissions but at the same time, we also don’t want to burden passengers.

“Even if there are charges imposed by airlines, it must be very minimal,” he added.

Moreover, Loke added that while the MOT allows airlines to adopt different approaches to cover carbon emissions besides the carbon levy, he emphasised other measures need to be taken, such as optimising the airlines’ operational efficiency and air traffic management. – Feb 23, 2024


Main photo credit: The Merdeka Times

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