Ending the generous tax exemptions aviation enjoys would create a level playing field between all transport modes, help meet our 2030 climate targets, and answer the EU’s call for a shift away from labour taxation.
This blogpost was first published in EurActiv.The UNFCCC negotiating text took an important step forward last week with the inclusion in the text of wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees.
In the final years of negotiations for the new climate agreement, it’s still not clear if it will include the fastest growing emissions sources — international aviation and shipping, also known as bunker fuels.
The latest round of climate talks concluded in Lima last month with a sense that some of the basics have been agreed to set the foundations of a global agreement in Paris next year. While the final outcome fell short of expectations, all parties seem to have accepted in principal the need to curb their emissions to keep an increase in global temperature below 2C. However, the two international sectors, aviation and shipping - the emissions of which have not been allocated to parties - seem to be the exception.
The rapid slide in oil prices, down 41% since June, has left the aviation industry struggling to defend its continuing high fuel surcharges and continuing reports of record profit. Here is IATA's director general, Tony Tyler, updating his stance on oil prices in light of recent developments.
This article was first published as a blog post on the Huffington Post UKIt is deal time in Montreal. Over the next two weeks 191 countries will decide what to do about climate-warming emissions. If aviation were a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter in the world, based on CO2 alone. And aviation emissions are set to triple by 2050, so this is no small task.
This article was first published by the Huffington Post. Flying is often the cheapest, quickest and most convenient way to get to that beach, city break or weekend away. Unfortunately it's also the cheapest and quickest way to heat the planet!
This article was first published, in abridged form, by Ethical Consumer. If global aviation emissions were a country, it would be ranked 7th in the list of global emitters, between Germany and South Korea. Yet aviation is the only means of transportation that doesn't pay a penny of tax on the fuel it burns. This is an unfair advantage that airlines have over trains, coaches and cars, making it the fastest growing form of transport while also being the most carbon intensive. All of this is to the benefit of rich chaps, as, contrary to common public myth about low cost flights, air travel is one of the least democratic forms of moving from A to B.
Developing countries argue that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should start with developed countries because they have the greatest historical responsibility for generating CO2 emissions and thus causing the bulk of global warming. At the recent abortive round of deliberations of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) High Level Group, these arguments came to the fore again. During the discussions to find consensus around global action to address aviation’s contribution to climate change, China, India and Brazil revived old arguments that they have no responsibility to act, not even at differentiated levels, because of these historical issues enshrined in the global climate negotiations.
International aviation is on course for a rough landing in our warming world. Air travel is growing rapidly -- and so are aviation emissions, which are already responsible for 5 percent of the warming effect of global greenhouse gas emissions.