The tourist employers and UGT warn that the green rate on air connections with the Canary Islands will cause a huge social drama

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They recall that the outermost archipelago has no alternative to air transport as other European territories do and request their exemption on all flights to the islands

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

The Canarian tourist employers ‒
Ashotel, FEHT, Asofuer and FTL‒ next to the trade union center
UGT express their firm rejection of the imminent possibility that a
air fuel taxknown as green rate, to flights c
on origin or destination Canary Islands.

These organizations share the "need to combat the emission of greenhouse gases to
stop global warming and, therefore, they generally agree with this taxation of kerosene. However, they understand that the general rules admit exceptions for cases such as the Canary Islands, an outermost archipelagic region, in which the exception is more than justified“, according to a statement.

"The Archipelago is absolutely
dependent on air transport for connecting people with Europe. The 1,400 kilometers of ocean that separate the Islands from the mainland do not allow any other alternative means of transport, as is the case with the rest of the European regions“, they analyze.

They also add that "air connectivity is
vital to the economy of this impoverished region, which depends on the accommodation activity linked to tourism. This sector represents in the Canary Islands the
40% of direct employment and 80% if indirect employment is taken into account«.

For this reason, "penalizing the use of the plane through this green fee on flights to or from the Canary Islands
will have a deterrent effect and it will be an impediment for the majority of tourists who year after year choose the Canary Islands as their favorite place for their vacations, condemning the economy of the Islands to collapse and, with it, to the inevitable economic emigration of its population to the European continent«, warn.

In this sense, they consider that the Outermost Regions (ORs) of the European Union "must have a
singular treatment, specific, appropriate to their condition in all areas and, especially, in the one that now occupies us. For this reason, the tourist employers and UGT advocate for the absolute exemption of the kerosene tax on flights to these regions«.

Compensatory measures

The tourism sector is not unaware of the importance of measures against pollution and in favor of sustainability; in fact, many companies work on sustainability plans because they are
aware that tourism must be sustainable or it will not be. The employers consider that the polluting effect of the flights must be compensated in the Canary Islands with other measures.

It is necessary, they value, «to value the effort carried out by the sector in the implementation of compensation systems for the carbon footprint generated by the activity itself. Likewise, many lodging establishments have been working for a long time in
circular economy initiativesin which compost is generated from organic waste for the ecological production of fruits and vegetables that are later introduced into the tourist circuit«.

"Other initiatives of this nature work in collaboration with research teams, such as the project carried out together with the University of La Laguna (ULL) for the reuse of brine from water desalination processes in the production of vegetables in sustainable gardens in the hotel establishments themselves".

Likewise, "several companies in the tourism sector work together with the public administration in the
preparation and implementation of mobility plans in land transportwhich include the change in the vehicle fleet to be more eco-efficient or the progressive incorporation of electric vehicles«.

These organizations insist that "the penalization of air connectivity with the outermost Canary archipelago, one of the regions with
lowest GDP per capita and with the highest unemployment rates in Europeit would be a dramatic mistake that would lead its population of 2.2 million inhabitants to ruinous isolation and ostracism in the middle of the Atlantic«.

For this reason they appeal to the
social sensitivity of the European Parliament so that it recognizes the uniqueness of the Canarian case and tolerates the exception of the kerosene tax on all flights to or from the archipelagos of the ORs, while demanding courage from the Spanish and Canarian public representatives in defense of this fair exception.

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