• T&E reaction to EU aviation emissions trading agreement

    The European Parliament and EU environment ministers have agreed on a deal to include aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) in 2012. The deal still needs to be formally approved.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Commenting on today’s development, João Vieira of T&E said:
    “Environmental campaigners have consistently said that this plan must deliver real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector – and this deal fails to achieve that goal. The policy will offset just one year’s growth in emissions from the aviation sector, according to the European Commission’s own analysis.” (1)

    “National governments must take the blame for failing to deliver a law that will actually cut emissions. The European Parliament had asked for a number of measures that could have resulted in real emissions cuts from aviation but national governments once again took the side of their flag-carrying airlines.”

    “Today we should be marking a historic multilateral deal to cut international aviation emissions, but in fact we are marking a historic missed opportunity.”

    In 2000 air transport accounted for 4 to 9 per cent of the climate change impact of human activities, the range reflects uncertainty surrounding the effect of cirrus clouds. A figure of 2 per cent, often quoted by the aviation industry, applies only to CO2 emissions and refers to 1992 data. 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 travelling. (2)

    Emissions from international aviation were excluded from the 1997 Kyoto protocol. Instead responsibility for cutting emissions was passed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that has so far written off or blocked every conceivable environmental policy for the sector (3).

    (1) Aviation emissions would be reduced by 3% based on a CO2 price in the EU-ETS of €15 per tonne, equivalent to €0.04 per litre of kerosene. These figures are in line with the European Commission’s Impact Assessment.

    (2) See Clearing the Air: the Myth and Reality of Aviation and Climate Change

    (3) See No flight plan: how the ICAO has blocked progress on climate change for a decade