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Focus on Europe after ICAO fails to agree world aviation ETS

The European Commission has published a proposal to amend once again the rules governing emissions trading for aviation. This latest amendment follows the failure of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) triennial assembly to agree a global emissions reduction scheme. T&E says the latest revisions to the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) would only cover 35% of the aircraft emissions included in the original ETS, and described the pressure the EU is under as ‘disgraceful’.

Nobel laureates demand Commission action on tar sands

Twenty-one Nobel prize winners have urged the EU to immediately implement the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) which would label tar sands as dirtier than other fuels. ‘The extraction of unconventional fuels – such as oil sands and oil shale – is having a particularly devastating impact on climate change,’ wrote the laureates in a letter to European commissioners and environment ministers earlier this month.

Airlines fly through tax loopholes while burning up planet

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!

Immediate global action needed to reduce aviation climate impact - Report

A new scientific report released today highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation.  With a decision expected shortly on how and when to tackle international aviation emissions, this new report increases the pressure on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) not to defer a decision on the adoption of a market-based measure (MBM).

Tax havens in the sky

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. 

Aviation ETS: a meaningful future?

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The one year pause for aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) has intensified international debate on finding a global emissions deal for aviation. This pause will finish at the end of the year and aviation in the ETS will revert to full enforcement next January. Some countries, led by the US, are pressing for any future scope to be limited to “EU airspace”, which would be environmentally ineffective and unacceptable. If the ETS is to be amended, it should be on the basis of maximum coverage of emissions generated by international flights. The most promising option to keep an environmentally sound ETS while addressing the concerns of other countries is for the EU to regulate extra-European flights on a 50/50 basis: the first 50% of any departing flight and the last 50% of any arriving flight. This, and the other options on the table, are fully explained in the briefing below.The various options available to the EU will be debated at a roundtable event in the European Parliament on September 4th. For more information about the event, see here: http://www.transportenvironment.org/events/greener-flights-grounded

EU governments miss out on up to €39bn a year due to aviation’s tax breaks

Debt-ridden EU countries miss out on up to €39bn every year, a sum rivalling that of Spain’s drastic budget cut in 2013, representing fuel and value-added taxes (VAT) that air carriers don’t pay, a new study shows. 

Does aviation pay its way?

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In these times of austerity, deficit budgets of European governments are missing out on almost €40bn a year due to a lack of basic taxes on aviation. This briefing explains a new study that looks at revenue that EU Member States could receive if fuel tax and VAT were imposed on aviation, as on road transport.  

Commission defends €3bn annual subsidies for low-cost airlines

The European Commission today published new draft guidelines [1] that will allow regional airports and EU carriers serving them to keep receiving subsidies worth €3bn a year. In a good number of cases [2] these rules prop up unprofitable regional airports and low-cost carriers, allowing them to continue to operate in an unsustainable way which distorts competition between budget and national carriers.  The proposed guidelines also permit the bail out of financially unviable operations for a decade and allow infrastructure aid for building new airports to continue in aeternum.

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