As the crowds admire all the new aircraft and high-tech displays at Paris Bourget this week, it's important to remember that the aviation sector faces a serious and growing challenge if it is to adequately rise to the climate change challenge.
T&E provided a detailed submission to the European Commission's public consultation on aviation competitiveness, which closed on 10 June 2015. T&E's response to this consultation is to call for the EU to adopt measures that create a more efficient aviation sector, making EU operators the market leaders globally. This includes adopting the most effective environmental standards possible, ending inefficient subsidies to operators and airports and adopting a common EU negotiating position for air service agreements to prevent excess capacity in the European market. With aviation emissions projected to grow considerably by 2030, such measures are necessary to meet the EU's ambitious climate objectives.
The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has announced today that emissions from aircraft endanger human health, after being forced to issue a ruling due to a lawsuit filed by a number of US environmental groups. The EPA already found that greenhouse gases (GHGs) from cars and power plants were harmful to public health because of their climate impact.
Ahead of the crucial meetings of the UN aviation body, ICAO, in July 2015 and again in February 2016 and at its assembly in October 2016, Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) and T&E are calling on Europe to push for an environmentally effective ICAO CO2 standard. In this letter to EU climate and transport ministers and European Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete and Violeta Bulc, the two groups say the EU and the US need to work together to ensure a standard that actually reduces emissions. Otherwise the two markets should work together on their own standard, since they are over half of the global market.
Environmentalists have warned Europe’s policymakers that they need to ensure the environmental integrity of the current EU ETS for aviation is not abandoned in return for nothing from the global aviation industry. The caution followed comments by the airline trade association, IATA, that a global market-based mechanism to tackle aviation’s carbon emissions won’t be ready by 2016 as agreed.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has paid a €1.4 million fine levied by a Belgian regional government for not complying with the EU’s aviation emissions trading system (ETS), prompting calls for all member states to disclose non-European airlines in breach of the rules. Countries are required to do so under a 2008 EU law.
A ruling by a branch of the British legal system could have far-reaching implications for the future of emissions trading for aviation. An adjudicator has dismissed an appeal by a non-EU airline which refused to report on its emissions from intra-EU flights under the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS). T&E says the impact of the decision is likely to be small, but the implications could be significant.
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.