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 German government has announced it is to introduce a tax on international air tickets. The move would make it the fourth western European nation following France, Great Britain and Ireland to have an aviation ticket tax.
A transatlantic coalition of environmental NGOs has been recognised as having sufficient expertise to be allowed to submit evidence to a court case in which three American airlines are claiming the EU’s decision to force aviation into the Emissions Trading Scheme is illegal.
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.