Wednesday, November 15, 2006

EU considering proposals to impose controls on emissions on all flights into Europe

The EU announced yesterday that they were preparing draft proposals to impose emissions controls on all flights into the EU. Under the proposal, airlines would have to meet emissions targets by Jan. 1, 2011, for all flights in and out of Europe. To encourage other countries to introduce similar measures, the union would drop its emissions requirements covering the return leg of a round-trip flight if those countries also adopted pollutions caps for
airlines. Airlines will be included in the EU's carbon trading scheme.

The draft proposal will be presented to EU Heads of Governments in the Council of Ministers on December 20th. The Council will debate the proposal and then decide whether to go ahead.

Because practically every airline on earth flies into Europe, this proposal would cover them all in one fell swoop. It solves the problem of Europe making huge efforts to cut emissions only for these efforts to be cancelled out by the Americans, Chinese and other recalcitrant countries. It should mean the burden is shared and the chances of meaningful reductions in emissions more likely.

According to the New York Times, the Americans are already getting very agitated. We should expect massive pressure from them to abort this. But hopefully Europe will resist - we'll never make a difference to global warming if airline emissions are not tackled on a global basis.


Anonymous said...

sounds like the EU may well lead the world in terms of climate change. what better reason for gordon Brown to feel European.

jams o donnell said...

I can't see how you can try and cap emissions without dealing with air travel. I can only imagine the stink airlines will raise though but I hope the EU holds its line

Political Umpire said...

It's ironic how the likes of Mayor Livingstone demonise car users while at the same time enjoying junkets involving air travel (what the hell was the Mayor of London trying to find out about boxing in Cuba for, incidentally?). Air travel is far more significant as far as emissions are concerned, so it is good to see something attempted to be done about it.