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Climate Change and aviation

Airline industry must take full responsibility for damaging the climate

On the occasion of the adoption of the report on climate change and aviation by the EP Environment Committee voting unanimously today, Rapporteur Caroline Lucas, UK Green MEP, said:

"With today's unanimous vote, the EP Environment Committee has sent a strong signal to the airline industry that it is time to take responsibility for its damaging emissions and has underlined the need for broad and binding legislation to ensure this happens. The report builds on the Commission communication on the subject and proposes a comprehensive package of measures to address the full climatic impact of aviation, including the non-CO2 impacts.

"Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, with airlines currently taking almost no responsibility for the pollution they cause. Covering aviation under an emissions trading scheme, provided this is appropriately designed, would be an important step to wards reducing its damaging effect on the climate.

"Given the non-CO2 impacts of aviation can be 2-4 times more damaging than the CO2 impact, I welcome the Environment Committee's endorsement of the need for the non-CO2 effects to be addressed in parallel with the CO2 effect - ideally through appropriate complementary measures such as an emissions charge but failing that, by using multipliers on CO2 emissions in a future aviation emissions trading scheme.

"I also welcome the Committee's support in calling for a rigorous cap for aviation emissions, which is in line with Kyoto Protocol targets, and limits to trading with the industrial and energy producing sectors' scheme. Other important aspects of the report include calls for the widest possible geographical scope and initial allowances to be paid for by the airlines rather than being given away for free. 

"The report calls for the full internalisation of external costs of aviation and recognises the need to level the playing field between aviation and other forms of transport. Introducing a kerosene tax for all domestic and intra-EU flights (except on routes where non-EU carriers operate), with a global tax as soon as possible, would be a vital step in providing this parity and internalising environmental costs."


© Christian Kaufmann
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