In mid April 2014, the European Commission opened a consultation on disputed aid to 23 regional airports in relation to the newly revised state aid guidelines for airports and airlines which came into effect at the beginning of the month. T&E believes that decisions that will be taken on state aid under the new guidelines risk further distorting competition in an already heavily subsidised sector, wasting scarce public resources and expanding billions of euros in climate harmful subsidies that will generate more CO2 than the original emissions trading system intended to save. Transport & Environment believes that state aid can only be justified for select small airports in remote areas for which other transport is not a viable option. You can download our consultation response below.
New research by the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) highlights both the urgent need for concerted global action to address international aviation emissions and underlines the fact that all current and foreseen emissions reductions measures being promoted by industry and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will fall well short of those needed to prevent dangerous global warming.
In 1997 the parties to the Kyoto Protocol agreed that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international aviation should be ‘limited’ or ‘reduced’ working through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN agency responsible for setting international standards for civil aviation. Since Kyoto, ICAO has failed to deliver or agree any mandatory global policies to mitigate emissions. The Organisation closed the door, one by one, on almost every conceivable marketmeasure for reducing aviation’s emissions and now, under pressure to act, is deeply divided over adopting a global solution.The following timeline shows the sluggish progress made in the ICAO, while CO2 emissions from aviation have been growing 4.3% on average per year between 1999 and 2009 and today aviation alone accounts for 4.9% of the cumulative climate change impact of human activities.
In the context of the EU's one year 'stop the clock' of the EU ETS in order for a global aviation emissions reduction framework to be implemented by ICAO, this factsheet compares the myths and realities of the United States of America's policy towards curbing international aviation emissions.
The ICAO High Level Group in International Aviation and Climate Change, established last November to resolve political questions surrounding a global market based measure for international aviation emissions, also needs to agree an ICAO position on the geographic scope of any national or regional schemes such as the EU ETS. The three alternatives being considered are based on departing flights, nationality of carrier or a country’s airspace. Suggestions that an airspace approach would be appropriate are unrealistic and can't be serious. ICAO already recognised 5 years ago that the airspace option was impractical. These talks require a more responsible and disinterested approach and here we explain why.