A Swiss pilot and entrepreneur has successfully completed the world’s first solar-powered flight. André Borschberg of the Swiss company Solar Impulse stayed airborne with no fuel for 26 hours, several of them through the night, earlier this month.
The Commission has dismissed suggestions by the aviation industry that the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland that disrupted flights over north-western Europe last month should alter the terms under which aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012.
The world’s largest marine Emissions Control Area (ECA) has been approved by the International Maritime Organisation. Ships operating in waters off the North American coasts will be forced to use dramatically cleaner fuel and technology. The move is likely to make it easier for the EU to designate ECAs in European waters.
The potential for climate legislation to influence transport policy was demonstrated in Great Britain last month, when a judge told the British government it could not go ahead with a third runway and sixth terminal at London’s Heathrow airport without looking again at the project’s climate implications.
The outcome of the Copenhagen summit proved extremely disappointing as regards international aviation and shipping emissions. Although more discussion amongst countries on bunker fuels at the UNFCCC occurred in the past three months than during the last ten years, it proved impossible to bridge the continuing differences.
A new study on aviation says the pace of improvements in aircraft energy efficiency is very slow, and no progress has been made in the last decade. It calls for a carbon dioxide emissions standard for aircraft already in production.
A new report suggests airlines could make large windfall profits from aviation joining the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012, if airlines charge customers for emission allowances they are given free-of-charge.