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Airline Emissions

Reuters – April 6, 2009

Airlines Urge UN to Adopt Global Aviation Carbon Trading Scheme


To avoid having to comply with patchwork regulations from the United States, the European Union and other entities, a group of airlines is proposing a single global carbon emissions cap for the aviation industry.

The cap, which would be based on the amount of fuel consumed by each carrier, would allow airlines to purchase credits from other entitites. An additional allotment of permits would be auctioned, with the proceeds to go towards the Kyoto Protocol’s adaptation fund for developing nations, development of sustainable aviation biofuels and a U.N.-backed initiative to save forests in developing nations in return for tradeable carbon credits, according to Reuters.

The proposal comes from the Climate Group, a nongovernmental organization, and Air France/KLM, British Airways, Cathay and Virgin Atlantic. Those airlines recently started a coalition called the Aviation Global Deal Group, with the stated goal of seeing that any global climate treaty include an aviation component.

The airlines are presenting their proposal to the United Nations April 6, with the hope that nations adopt a global plan by 2013. The European Union has a comprehensive aviation emissions cap set to take effect in 2012.

The Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines estimates the global aviation industry emits about 650 million tons of CO2 annually.

Environmental Leader – March 9, 2009

UK Airlines Fall Under Stricter Emissions Scheme


The United Kingdom will allow its Environment Agency to fine UK airlines that don’t meet strict emissions standards, according to a news report.

Recently, the UK had indicated the Environment Agency would supervise a scheme to cap aviation emissions in England and Wales.

For all of the European Union, starting in 2012, CO2 emissions from aviation will be capped at the average 2004/06 levels. This will be applied to all flights arriving and departing EU airports.

In other aviation emissions news, Boeing has devised a landing program that cuts fuel use and emissions by giving aircraft tailor-made arrival paths, according to a Reuters story.

Boeing carried out tests of about 1,000 flights into San Francisco International Airport. Using Boeing 777 and 747 aircraft, the Tailored Arrivals system helped airlines cut fuel consumption by 1.1 million pounds and carbon dioxide emissions by 3.6 million pounds over one year, Reuters reported.

Environmental Leader – February 12, 2009

EU Reveals Details Of Airline Carbon Credit Scheme


Because of increased costs for air carriers, business travelers to Europe likely would pay higher airline fares after implementation of a European Union requirement for airlines to buy carbon credits to offset their emissions. Because of increased costs for air carriers, business travelers to Europe likely would pay higher airline fares after implementation of a European Union requirement for airlines to buy carbon credits to offset their emissions.

Last year, the EU proclaimed that most flights touching down in Europe would be covered by a trading system for emissions of greenhouse gases.

With the EU pairing each airline serving Europe to a single nation that would collect payments, it appears Britain would gain the most, based on the number of daily international flights there. France and Germany would benefit to a lesser degree, according to the International Herald Tribune.

The International Air Transport Association, an aviation lobby group, claims the system will cost nearly $5 billion each year to comply, according to the article. The United States reportedly is withholding comment on this issue as the Obama administration reviews climate change policies.

Critics claim the EU carbon trading system is not reducing carbon emissions. Germany’s Green Party, for instance, insists that despite the many benefits of carbon trading, investing in renewable energy is the most cost-efficient way to cut carbon.

Last June, Air France-KLM derided the EU carbon trading scheme as unfair

Environmental Leader – March 17, 2008

EU To U.S. Airlines: Buy Carbon Credits Or Face Fewer Flights


airplane3-17-08.jpgU.S. airlines must join the EU emissions trading scheme or an equivalent system in the U.S. or they could face fewer flights to the European Union, Jacques Barrot the EU transport commissioner, has warned, according to the Guardian.

EU airlines must join the emissions trading scheme in 2012, which could add up to £13 to the price of a return flight as carriers buy “carbon credits.”

All airlines flying in and out of the EU must join the scheme but the International Air Transport Association has warned that 170 countries oppose the move.

European carriers want foreign rivals coopted on to the scheme because airlines who refuse to buy carbon credits will offer lower fares.

In June, a group of six associations representing European airlines published a study that found airlines would have to spend over $60 billion between 2011 and 2022 buying up credits from more fuel-efficient industries to meet their quotas.

Airline emissions were not part of the Kyoto Protocol’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Limits on airlines were left to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency. In September, the IACO passed a resolution opposing plans to include foreign airlines in the scheme.

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