The Green Party in Scotland has analysed the proposed halving of the tax levied on air passengers leaving Scottish airports and found most of the money saved will go to wealthy frequent flyers and businesses. T&E says the Scottish government’s proposals are just the latest in a series of unjustified government concessions to the aviation industry.
The European Parliament's environment committee voted today to strengthen the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) for aviation while also demanding a review in 2019 of the UN’s voluntary aviation offsetting scheme, known as CORSIA. The vote underlined the considerable scepticism surrounding the effectiveness of the global scheme while reinforcing Europe’s right to maintain an environmentally meaningful and strengthened regional measure, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) said.
Non-CO2 effects of aviation have been acknowledged by scientists but ignored by policymakers. It is estimated that gases other than CO2 have at least as large a climate impact as CO2. The European Commission has so far failed to address aviation’s non-CO2 effects despite undertaking to do so in 2008. This risks undermining the EU’s climate policy. In this briefing T&E recommends that the Commission now acts on its 2008 promise and proposes a charge on NOx emissions and earmarks funds for research into other non-CO2 effects such as contrail and cirrus formation and their avoidance.
The former EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard has warned that the proposed agreement to stabilise emissions from aircraft will only work if all the details are transparent. Writing on the Climate Home website, she said without transparency there is a risk that airlines will offset their growing greenhouse gas emissions against projects that either don’t do enough to combat climate change or are being ‘double counted’.
T&E has responded to the European Commission's Public Consultation on Passengers Rights in Multimodal Transport. Through-ticketing has been essential for the growth of aviation and connectivity in Europe. By contrast, national rail companies have largely avoided these types of agreements because of competitive reasons and accordingly the opportunity for cross border rail travel has suffered enormously. Rail companies should start sharing data to make through-ticketing possible for train travel.
This blog post was originally published on EurActivCarbon from all sectors in the EU’s emissions trading system decreased in 2016 with one exception: aviation. CO2 from flights within Europe grew 8%, according to figures released last week by the European Commission. Low-fares airlines drove this growth, with Ryanair, Wizz Air, Eurowings and Norwegian all registering double-digit increases in emissions. These airlines are now huge emitters with carbon footprints exceeding those of some small countries. For example, Ryanair’s flights within Europe emit more CO2 than Costa Rica or Cyprus.
Carbon offsets are not working, according to a study by the European Commission. This measure allows polluters to pay others to reduce their emissions, so they can continue to pollute. The research found that 85% of the offset projects used by the EU under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) failed to reduce emissions.
ICSA paper on the registries and transparency policies required to ensure the global market based measure for aviation (known as CORSIA) operates effectively.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has created an offsetting measure for the aviation sector which aims to compensate for emissions growth above 2020 levels.
Following remarks by Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary rejecting the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, T&E and Climate Action Network Europe call on Ryanair's European lobbying group, AirlinesforEurope (A4E), and A4E's other member airlines to state publicly whether they side with O'Leary's climate denial or whether they accept the proven link between human activity and a warming planet.With aviation emissions continuing to soar – up 8% in Europe alone in 2016 – and governments struggling to introduce effective measures to rein them in, there is a strong public and consumer interest in knowing whether European airlines accept the need to take action on climate change or are intent on identifying with the diminishing band of climate deniers. National and European decision makers should also know where airlines stand on the issue of climate change when they are being intensively lobbied by airlines on the issue.