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Measures to Curb the Climate Change Impacts of Aviation

October 26, 2006

Joint NGO position paper on measures to reduce the climate change impacts of aviation.

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Summary:

  • In 2000, aviation was responsible for 4 to 9 per cent of the climate change impact of global human activity – the range reflecting uncertainty surrounding the effect of cirrus clouds;
  • International aviation is not subject to Kyoto or other climate commitments;
  • Aviation has by far the greatest climate impact of any transport mode, whether measured per passenger kilometre, per tonne kilometre, per € spent, or per hour spent;
  • Aviation increases the EU’s oil import burden by over €20 billion per year;
  • Today’s passenger aircraft are no more fuel-efficient than those that flew half a century ago;
  • The importance of aviation for the economy and employment is far less than its importance for climate change;
  • Every segment of the aviation industry including manufacturers, airlines and airports is subsidised and enjoys major tax exemptions;
  • EU-level action does not affect the competitive position of EU airlines compared with their non-EU competitors, provided that policies do not discriminate between EU and non EU carriers flying the same routes (which is obligatory anyway under the Chicago Convention).