Cross party committee of MPs recommends Government should not give go ahead on Heathrow expansion

The Environmental Audit Committee said the Government should not to give a runway at Heathrow the go ahead unless it is ready to make a ‘step change’ in its approach to environmental mitigation. Cait Hewitt, Deputy Director of the AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) commented that the EAC report “highlights the sheer scale of the measures that would be needed to prevent a third runway becoming an environmental disaster … AEF has repeatedly highlighted the need for Government to demonstrate how it will close the policy gap in relation to aviation emissions, and we welcome the EAC’s emphasis on the inadequacy of existing policies for tackling climate change objectives … We believe that the challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick cannot, in reality, be overcome.”   The EAC said  that Government would need to demonstrate “a high degree of certainty that their own policies are robust enough to deliver the mitigations required” before giving approval for the expansion. On CO2 the EAC said the industry’s efforts are “highly unlikely” to achieve the target for aviation emissions and that there is a need for additional Government policies including some form of demand management.
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Cross party committee of MPs recommends Government should not give go ahead on Heathrow expansion

The Environmental Audit Committee today called on Government not to give Heathrow expansion the go ahead unless it is ready to make a ‘step change’ in its approach to environmental mitigation.

The EAC’s report on the implications for Government commitments on carbon emissions, air quality and noise of implementing the Airports Commission’s recommendation, advised that Government would need to demonstrate “a high degree of certainty that their own policies are robust enough to deliver the mitigations required” before giving approval for the expansion.

On climate change, the EAC quotes AEF’s written [AEF response to EAC Airports Commission inquiry] and oral [Parliament TV recording of the EAC evidence session] contributions in reaching its conclusion that industry efforts are “highly unlikely” to achieve the target for aviation emissions and that there is a need for additional Government policies including some form of demand management.

The Committee emphasised the “policy vacuum” in relation to the aviation carbon target and called on Government to introduce an effective aviation emissions framework and follow the approach recommended by the Committee on Climate Change in its 5th carbon budget advice.

On air quality, the EAC said that Heathrow expansion should be conditional on Government demonstrating that it would be compatible with EU air quality limits. The committee was very critical of the approach taken by the Airports Commission, namely that a deterioration of air quality in the Heathrow area could be legally permissible as long as air quality elsewhere in London is even worse. The EAC’s conclusion was based on concerns about the health impacts of air pollution and aligns with statements by air quality campaigners, such as Clean Air in London. The Committee also called on Government to calculate the costs of preventing health damage from poor air quality.

On noise, the EAC called for the Government to demonstrate how it would deliver the night flight ban proposed by the Airports Commission, and called for further analysis into whether the Airports Commission’s claim that a three runway Heathrow could actually be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow is realistic.

Cait Hewitt, AEF Deputy Director commented:

“Today’s report highlights the sheer scale of the measures that would be needed to prevent a third runway becoming an environmental disaster. We agree with the committee that there would need to be a ‘step change’ to the Government’s approach to environmental mitigation for expansion to be compatible with environmental limits.

“AEF has repeatedly highlighted the need for Government to demonstrate how it will close the policy gap in relation to aviation emissions, and we welcome the EAC’s emphasis on the inadequacy of existing policies for tackling climate change objectives.

“We believe that the challenges of addressing the environmental impacts of a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick cannot, in reality, be overcome.

 

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Earlier:

What aviation means for the fifth carbon budget

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the official body advising the Government on climate change policy, has today published its advice on the fifth carbon budget, including a restatement of its recommendation that aviation emissions should be no higher in 2050 than in 2005 (37.5 Mt).

CO2 from the sector is currently set to overshoot this level even without any new runways and to be higher still if expansion takes place at either Heathrow or Gatwick. New CCC analysis published today indicates that in a scenario where emissions are not capped and only low ‘carbon abatement’ options (such as technology improvements) are available, aviation emissions could be as high as 51.9 Mt by 2050, underlining the need for policy action to address the gap.

Carbon budgets ensure that the UK is on the right path to deliver the economy-wide 80% emissions reduction required under the Climate Change Act. So far, the Government has consistently adopted and legislated CCC’s advice on the appropriate level of ambition for carbon budgets. The fifth budget will cover emissions from 2028-2032.

UK carbon emission reduction path

Image credit: Committee on Climate Change

Where does aviation fit in the UK climate change plan?

The CCC’s recommendation that carbon budgets must account for emissions from international aviation and shipping is longstanding. To date these emissions have not been formally included in carbon budgets given concerns about the appropriate approach to accounting for emissions from international travel.

The advice published today calls on Government to begin including shipping emissions in carbon budgets, but that “continuing uncertainties in aviation’s accounting within the EU ETS mean inclusion would be impractical at this time”. In the interim, CCC maintains that carbon budgets should continue to allow headroom for the future inclusion of aviation.

AEF supports inclusion of aviation emissions in carbon budgets and we set out some possible approaches for doing so in our response to the CCC’s consultation on its fifth carbon budget. But a continuation by Governbment of the current approach of ensuring that the UK is on course to deliver the long-term emissions target of 80% in a way that includes all sectors, and makes allowance for the future inclusion of aviation, is more important than formal inclusion of aviation emissions in carbon budgets in our view.

CCC recommends that aviation emissions should be no higher than 37.5 Mt in 2050 – the level in 2005 – and that the level of emissions reduction this assumes from other sectors in order to achieve the economy-wide target of an 80% cut is at the limit of what is feasible. In June this year, the CCC advised the Government to draw up a policy plan for closing the gap between currently forecast aviation emissions and the 37.5 Mt target.

What does this mean for the runway debate?

The Airports Commission, in making its recommendations for a new runway at Heathrow, produced two sets of forecasts. One, the ‘carbon capped’ forecast, assumed that Government continues to act on the CCC’s advice in limiting aviation emissions to 37.5 Mt. The other, the ‘carbon traded’ forecast, ignored any constraint on emissions under the Climate Change Act and assumed that the only action to control UK aviation emissions would be inclusion in an international carbon trading scheme.

Today’s advice from the CCC implies that Government must work on the basis of a ‘carbon capped’ scenario, and that the advice of the Airports Commission to build a new South East runway should be considered in this context.

What do we want Government to do?

The Government will propose draft legislation in response to the CCC’s advice on the Fifth Carbon Budget in 2016. AEF will be asking for Government to implement the CCC’s recommendation to allow headroom for aviation emissions, and to reconsider whether in fact sufficient information either is or will be available to formally include aviation as well as shipping emissions in carbon budgets from 2028.

To demonstrate its commitment to keeping aviation emissions at a level compatible with the Climate Change Act, Government should also set out a detailed policy plan for limiting aviation demand growth to no more than 60% above its level in 2005, in line with CCC’s recommendation of June 2015, and no decisions should be taken to increase South East airport capacity unless it can be shown to be compatible with such a plan.

We’re hoping that the international climate change conference in Paris this December will produce some ambitious long-term commitments. We’re also hoping to see some evidence following the conference that the UK is willing to honour its domestic climate commitments now they are starting to bite. And getting aviation policy right is an important part of this picture.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/11/26/what-the-fifth-carbon-budget-advice-means-for-aviation/


See earlier:

 

Committee on Climate Change confirm aviation CO2 must remain capped – putting new runway into question

On the eve of the Airports Commission’s runway recommendation, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has told Government it has until 2016 to set out an effective plan for limiting aviation emissions. The Government’s official advisory body on delivery of the UK’s Climate Change Act used its 5th ‘Progress Report’ to Government to highlight the need for action on aviation, including constraints on demand. The CCC says that given the anticipated growth in emissions from the sector, the DfT must set out how it will ensure that emissions from aviation are no higher in 2050 than they were in 2005 (37.5 Mt). The limited scope for improvements in aviation technology mean that demand growth must be kept to no more than 60% above its 2005 level. Current forecasts of air passenger growth with associated CO2 emissions exceed this level EVEN WITHOUT adding a new runway. With a new SE runway the growth in passenger demand – and thus CO2 emissions – would be even higher. Extensive analysis by the AEF has shown that a new runway would make the aviation emissions cap (37.5MtCO2 annually) impossible to achieve. Ruling out a new runway is the most obvious first step for the Government to take in response to the CCC’s advice. Adding a runway, and then having to deal with the extra carbon problem it has produced, is not an efficient way to deal with the issue.

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The conditions recommended by the EAC apply at Gatwick, as well as at Heathrow

The Environmental Audit Committee proposed a series of environmental conditions (noise, CO2 and air pollution) that the government should impose on a 3rd runway at Heathrow. They also said Heathrow should pay for necessary additional surface access infrastructure. GACC has pointed out that very similar conditions would have to apply for a 2nd Gatwick runway. On Noise, the condition that Heathrow should be less noisy with three runways than with two would absolutely rule out a new Gatwick runway, as it would affect three times as many people as it would with one runway. There would also need to be a ban on night flights. The carbon emissions over future decades from flights using a 2nd Gatwick runway would be very similar to those from a 3rd Heathrow runway, so the same condition would apply. ie. that “the CCC’s advice on aviation in relation to the 5th carbon budget, introducing an effective policy framework to bring aviation emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 no later than autumn 2016….”  On air pollution, although a new Gatwick runway might not breach EU limits it would adversely affect more houses than one at Heathrow. And on paying for surface transport, the airport should pay for all necessary transport upgrades, assessed when the airport is two- thirds full, not merely when it is just one-third full. 
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Environmental Audit Report on Heathrow – Preliminary comments by GACC

1.12.2015 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Several of the conditions proposed by the Select Committee would also apply to Gatwick

  1. Noise.  The condition that Heathrow should be less noisy with three runways than with two would absolutely rule out a new Gatwick runway.  The figures produced by the Airports Commission showed that Gatwick with two runways would affect three times as many people as it would with one runway.
  2. Ban on night flights.  A similar ban would be needed at Gatwick but would equally be opposed by GAL.
  3. Climate Change.  Exactly the same considerations would apply at Gatwick.
  4. Emissions.  Although a new Gatwick runway might not breach EU limits it would adversely affect more houses than one at Heathrow.
  5. Infrastructure.  The suggestion by Gatwick that they would pay for all the road and rail improvements needed for a second runway is disingenuous because it applies to 2030 when the new runway is forecast to be only one-third full.  By contrast the figures used for the infrastructure costs at Heathrow assume the new runway would be two-thirds full.

An appropriate condition at Gatwick would be that the airport should pay for all the infrastructure costs incurred when the new runway was operating at least at two-thirds full capacity.  That would never be agreed by GAL !

Brendon Sewill, chairman of GACC, said:  ‘If the conditions proposed for Heathrow are thought to rule out a Heathrow runway, they would equally rule out a Gatwick runway.  Quite right too because, with larger aircraft and full use of existing capacity at all five London airports, there is actually no need for any new runway.’

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www.gacc.org.uk

 

Details of what the Environmental Audit Committee said below:


EAC REPORT

Environmental Audit Committee says government should not permit Heathrow runway without strict conditions

The EAC report’s conclusions say: “The Government should not approve Heathrow expansion until Heathrow Ltd. can demonstrate that it accepts and will comply with the Airports Commission conditions, including a night flight ban, that it is committed to covering the costs of surface transport improvements; that it is possible to reconcile Heathrow expansion with legal air pollution limits, and that an expanded Heathrow would be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow. In each case – climate change, air quality and noise – it needs to set out concrete proposals for mitigation alongside clear responsibilities and milestones against which performance can be measured. It should report regularly to Parliament, through this Committee and others, on progress. The Government should not avoid or defer these issues. To do so would increase the risks of the project: delay through legal challenge, unquantifiable costs resulting from unclear responsibilities, economic risks through constraint of other sectors to meet increased aviation emissions and longterm costs to public health from the impact of air pollution and noise.”

Click here to view full story…

EAC on PAYING FOR SURFACE ACCESS

Environmental Audit Committee says Heathrow must fund the infrastructure improvements necessary

One of the conditions that the Airports Commission suggested should imposed on a Heathrow runway was that the airport should pay most of the cost of the additional surface transport infrastructure. Heathrow has repeatedly said it is not willing to pay more than about £1 billion, though the costs are estimated by Transport for London to be £15 – 20 billion. The Environmental Audit Committee report says: “Before the Government decides to go ahead with Heathrow expansion it should set out its assessment of what would be required in terms of infrastructure improvements, agreed responsibilities for funding and milestones for completion. This should be part of a wider transport strategy for West London to minimise the risk of unintended consequences. The Government must make a binding commitment that Heathrow will fund the infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate an expanded Heathrow.” The government has said it will not pay, with Richard Goodwill stating in October that: “…. the Government has been clear that it expects the scheme promoter to meet the costs of any surface access proposals that are required as a direct result of airport expansion and from which they will directly benefit.”

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EAC on NOISE

Environmental Audit Committee says Government must ensure a 3-runway Heathrow is genuinely no noisier than with 2 runways

The Environmental Audit Committee report looked at noise, as one of the issues that need to be revolved, if the Government wants to approve a Heathrow runway. The EAC says the current metrics that average noise are inadequate. They do not account for peak noise events, and may “ignore a swathe of people who are overflown infrequently but loudly.” “These metrics need to be measured against international standards such as WHO recommendations and inform a change in Government policy on aviation noise.” A new Independent Aviation Noise Authority will “need a more up to date understanding of people’s attitudes to noise if it is to be credible. One of the first tasks of such a body should be to undertake a survey of people’s attitudes to aviation noise.” The EAC says the government has to show “whether an expanded Heathrow would be noisier or less noisy than a two runway Heathrow at the same point in time.” On night flights the EAC says: “The Government should publish a plan, including a series of binding milestones, to deliver the proposed ban as part of any announcement to proceed with expansion at Heathrow…” And even if there is no 3rd runway, an Independent Aviation Noise Authority and a Community Engagement Board should be set up, to address the rock-bottom level of trust local people have in the airport.

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EAC on AIR QUALITY

Environmental Audit Committee says Government must ensure legal air pollution limits can be met and maintained

The Environmental Audit Committee report on a Heathrow runway, says in relation to air pollution: “Before the Government makes its decision, it should make its own assessment of the likely costs of preventing an adverse impact on health from expansion at Heathrow and publish it.” Also that the government should not consider a new runway merely if air quality could be worse elsewhere in London than in the Heathrow area. The government will need to demonstrate that legal air pollution limits can be met and maintained “even when the expanded airport is operating at full capacity. Heathrow’s existing air quality strategy should also be revised to meet the new targets. Failing this, Heathrow should not be allowed to expand.” As for not using the new runway if air quality is too poor: “The Government should not approve expansion at Heathrow until it has developed a robust framework for delivery and accountability. This should have binding, real-world milestones and balance the need for investor certainty with assurances that a successor Government cannot set the conditions aside if they become inconvenient.” In distinguishing pollution from the airport, or from other sources: “The Government must establish clearly delineated responsibilities for meeting air quality limits before deciding to go ahead with the scheme” to avoid future legal and commercial risks.

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EAC on CARBON

Environmental Audit Committee says Government must act by 2016 to ensure aviation carbon cap is met

The Environmental Audit Committee report says the Airports Commission said the CCC (Committee on Climate Change) was the expert in this area, not it. Therefore the EAC says: “The Government cannot credibly rely on the Commission’s analysis as evidence that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within the limits set by the 2008 Act …..We recommend that the Government give the CCC the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s forecasting of aviation emissions and the feasibility of its possible carbon policy scenarios. The Government should act on any recommendations they make. … Before making any decision on Heathrow expansion, the Government should publish an assessment of the likely impact on the aviation industry – particularly regional airports – and wider economy of measures to mitigate the likely level of additional emissions from Heathrow. …any Government decision on airport expansion should be accompanied by a package of measures to demonstrate a commitment to bringing emissions from international aviation within the economy-wide target set by the 2008 Act. They should also, as a minimum, commit to accepting the CCC’s advice on aviation in relation to the 5th carbon budget, introducing an effective policy framework to bring aviation emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 no later than autumn 2016….”

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Environmental Audit Committee says Government must act by 2016 to ensure aviation carbon cap is met

The Environmental Audit Committee report says the Airports Commission said the CCC (Committee on Climate Change) was the expert in this area, not it. Therefore the EAC says: “The Government cannot credibly rely on the Commission’s analysis as evidence that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within the limits set by the 2008 Act …..We recommend that the Government give the CCC the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s forecasting of aviation emissions and the feasibility of its possible carbon policy scenarios. The Government should act on any recommendations they make. … Before making any decision on Heathrow expansion, the Government should publish an assessment of the likely impact on the aviation industry – particularly regional airports – and wider economy of measures to mitigate the likely level of additional emissions from Heathrow. …any Government decision on airport expansion should be accompanied by a package of measures to demonstrate a commitment to bringing emissions from international aviation within the economy-wide target set by the 2008 Act. They should also, as a minimum, commit to accepting the CCC’s advice on aviation in relation to the 5th carbon budget, introducing an effective policy framework to bring aviation emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 no later than autumn 2016….”
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Environmental Audit Committee report

1 December 2015 

REPORT: Airports Commission: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality & Noise

The report’s Conclusions and recommendations

5 Conclusion   (Page 26)

89. The Government should not approve Heathrow expansion until Heathrow ltd. can demonstrate that it accepts and will comply with the Airports Commission conditions, including a night flight ban, that it is committed to covering the costs of surface transport improvements; that it is possible to reconcile Heathrow expansion with legal air pollution limits, and that an expanded Heathrow would be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow. In each case – climate change, air quality and noise – it needs to set out concrete proposals for mitigation alongside clear responsibilities and milestones against which performance can be measured. It should report regularly to Parliament, through this Committee and others, on progress. The Government should not avoid or defer these issues. To do so would increase the risks of the project: delay through legal challenge, unquantifiable costs resulting from unclear responsibilities, economic risks through constraint of other sectors to meet increased aviation emissions and longterm costs to public health from the impact of air pollution and noise.

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Looking at just the section on Heathrow and carbon emissions

Introduction

1. The Government has said it will set “a clear direction” on airport expansion by the end of the year. If the Government is minded to go ahead with the Commission’s recommendation, it is likely that this will be followed by a further period of consultation. The Government should use this period to address the recommendations in our report, before making a final decision on whether to go ahead with the scheme and seek the approval of Parliament through a National Policy Statement or Hybrid Bill. (Paragraph 4)

Carbon Emissions

2. The Government, when making a decision, will need to consider its carbon emissions mitigation against the full range of demand scenarios modelled by the Commission. (Paragraph 10)

3. The former Airports Commissioners told us they relied heavily on the work of the Committee on Climate Change when undertaking their work. They denied that their modelled carbon prices and policies were policy recommendations – feeling that the CCC were better placed to take on this role. Governments have in the past been reluctant to accept CCC policy recommendations on aviation. The Government cannot credibly rely on the Commission’s analysis as evidence that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within the limits set by the 2008 Act if this continues to be the case. We recommend that the Government give the CCC the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s forecasting of aviation emissions and the feasibility of its possible carbon policy scenarios. The Government should act on any recommendations they make. (Paragraph 14)

4. The Commission’s indicative carbon prices and policies were not intended as recommendations. Nonetheless, they give an indication of the scale of intervention likely to be required to bring aviation emissions within 2005 levels by 2050. Before making any decision on Heathrow expansion, the Government should publish an assessment of the likely impact on the aviation industry – particularly regional airports – and wider economy of measures to mitigate the likely level of additional emissions from Heathrow. (Paragraph 17)

5. The Government should consider developing a policy framework to advise industry about how to prioritise trade-offs between noise and carbon pollution when adopting biofuels thus giving guidance on priorities. (Paragraph 20)

6. The Commission, industry and Committee on Climate Change envisage biofuels playing a limited role in controlling aviation emissions. However, the use of biofuels is not without its own risks and uncertainties. The Government must either examine the options to encourage aviation to move to advanced fuels that are sustainable across their entire life cycle (including indirect land use change and impacts on food supplies) or identify ways in which corresponding emissions reductions will be achieved. (Paragraph 21) 

7. The Government should set out its approach to the International Civil Aviation Organisation negotiations as the previous Government did ahead of the COP 21 negotiations in Paris. It will need to demonstrate either that the agreement it is seeking can incentivise the absolute carbon emission reductions required to meet the planning assumption or what measures it is prepared to take and to what timescale in order to make up the shortfall. (Paragraph 25)

8. There are some areas of the Commission’s work on operational and technological improvements that are still the subject of significant disagreement. We urge the Government to produce and publish its own thorough evaluation of the forecasts, including its assessment of whether take-up is likely to be sufficient without Government intervention. (Paragraph 28)

9. We draw four conclusions from the evidence we heard on carbon emissions. Firstly, because the planning assumption requires additional decarbonisation from other sectors, passenger growth in aviation cannot be seen in isolation from the progress on emissions reduction made by the rest of the economy. Secondly, the industry has taken steps to reduce its carbon emissions and, in areas such as fuel efficiency, market incentives are likely to ensure further progress. Thirdly, these measures in themselves are highly unlikely to achieve the planning assumption and further measures, including demand management, will be required. Finally, there is a significant gap between the theoretical models of how a mixture of these measures might allow the planning assumption to be met and the proposals currently on the domestic and international policy tables. (Paragraph 29)

10. We recommend that any Government decision on airport expansion should be accompanied by a package of measures to demonstrate a commitment to bringing emissions from international aviation within the economy-wide target set by the 2008 Act. They should also, as a minimum, commit to accepting the Committee on Climate Change’s advice on aviation in relation to the fifth carbon budget, introducing an effective policy framework to bring aviation emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 no later than autumn 2016 and pressing for the strongest possible international measures at the International Civil Aviation Organisation next year. (Paragraph 30)

EAC report at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmenvaud/389/389.pdf

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Read more »

Environmental Audit Committee says government should not permit Heathrow runway without strict conditions

The EAC report’s conclusions say: “The Government should not approve Heathrow expansion until Heathrow Ltd. can demonstrate that it accepts and will comply with the Airports Commission conditions, including a night flight ban, that it is committed to covering the costs of surface transport improvements; that it is possible to reconcile Heathrow expansion with legal air pollution limits, and that an expanded Heathrow would be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow. In each case – climate change, air quality and noise – it needs to set out concrete proposals for mitigation alongside clear responsibilities and milestones against which performance can be measured. It should report regularly to Parliament, through this Committee and others, on progress. The Government should not avoid or defer these issues. To do so would increase the risks of the project: delay through legal challenge, unquantifiable costs resulting from unclear responsibilities, economic risks through constraint of other sectors to meet increased aviation emissions and longterm costs to public health from the impact of air pollution and noise.”
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Government should not give go ahead on Heathrow until environmental conditions can be met

1 December 2015 

(Environmental Audit Committee press release)

The report is at 

REPORT: Airports Commission Report: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality & Noise

The Government should not give final approval to Heathrow expansion until the airport can demonstrate that it accepts and will comply with key environmental conditions, MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have said.

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MP:

“The purpose of this inquiry was not to reopen the debate over where extra airport capacity should be located or whether it should take place at all. It was to examine the implications of the Airports Commission’s recommendation for a third runway on climate-changing emissions, air quality and noise – and what Government and Heathrow should do about them.”

The MPs say the airport must demonstrate that: it can reconcile Heathrow expansion with legal air pollution limits; commit to covering the costs of surface transport improvements; commit to introducing a night flight ban; and show that an expanded Heathrow would be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow. Huw Irranca-Davies MP:

“The Government has a duty to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in London to protect the health and well-being of its population. The Communities living near to the roads around Heathrow already put up with noise and extra traffic, it would be quite unacceptable to subject them to a potentially significant deterioration in air quality as well. Increased pollution should certainly not be permitted on the grounds that other areas of London are even more polluted.”

On carbon emissions, the inquiry found a gap between the Government’s current policies and the policies modelled by the Commission to show expansion could be achieved within CO2 limits. The Government should set out its approach to international negotiations on aviation emissions and put in place a strategy to deliver aviation emissions no higher than 2005 levels by 2050 in line with the economy-wide target set by the Climate Change Act. 

EAC Chair, Huw Irranca Davies MP commented:

“Planes are becoming more fuel efficient, but this alone will not keep aviation emissions in line with the Government’s climate change targets given the growth in passenger numbers. Even without expansion, aviation is on track to exceed its climate change target. We heard evidence that those targets might be met in theory, but at present there is a policy vacuum and evidence-based scepticism as to whether they can be met in practice.”

On air quality, the inquiry heard concerns that the Commission’s interpretation of the Air Quality Directive implied that significant increases in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) resulting from Heathrow expansion would be allowable because of worse performance elsewhere in London. The Committee said the Government should make clear that this is not the position it intends to take when assessing Heathrow’s compliance with the EU directive on air quality.

On noise, the Committee strongly supports a ban on night flights and calls on the Government to improve trust between local people and the airport by setting up within the year a Community Engagement Board. Ministers also need to establish and explain how noisy a future three-runway Heathrow would be relative to a future two-runway airport, and ensure that communities still receive predictable respite from planes flying overhead.

In each case – climate change, air quality and noise – the Government needs to set out concrete proposals for mitigation alongside clear responsibilities and milestones against which performance can be measured.

The Government should report regularly to Parliament on its progress through the Environmental Audit Committee and other committees. It should use the consultation period that would likely follow any decision to address the recommendations in the report, before seeking Parliament’s approval for the scheme.

Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Huw Irranca-Davies MP:  

“To defer dealing with the environmental impact of a third runway would be irresponsible and could lead to legal challenges as a result of the potential damage to public health from increased air pollution and noise. If the Government decides to accept the Commission’s recommendation for a third runway in principle, we will seek assurances from the Secretary of State for Transport that environmental conditions will be met before it is given final approval.”

————————

BACKGROUND

The Climate Change Act 2008 requires the Government to set a series of 5 year carbon budgets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.  The statutory Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government on meeting these budgets, says its ‘planning assumption’ is that 2050 aviation emissions should to be around 2005 levels (i.e. 37.5 MtCO2).

The UK’s legal air pollution limits are set out in EU Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality. The Directive limits values in respect of certain key pollutants – including an annual mean limit value of 40 μg/m3 NO2. Compliance is assessed through measurements carried out by “receptors” next to roads. The deadline for compliance was 2010 but a number of areas in the UK remain above the limit values, including Greater London.

 

Specific Committee Information:  eacom@parliament.uk/ 020 7219 6150/ 020 7219 6150


 

The report’s Conclusions and recommendations

5 Conclusion   (Page 26)

89. The Government should not approve Heathrow expansion until Heathrow ltd. can demonstrate that it accepts and will comply with the Airports Commission conditions, including a night flight ban, that it is committed to covering the costs of surface transport improvements; that it is possible to reconcile Heathrow expansion with legal air pollution limits, and that an expanded Heathrow would be less noisy than a two runway Heathrow. In each case – climate change, air quality and noise – it needs to set out concrete proposals for mitigation alongside clear responsibilities and milestones against which performance can be measured. It should report regularly to Parliament, through this Committee and others, on progress. The Government should not avoid or defer these issues. To do so would increase the risks of the project: delay through legal challenge, unquantifiable costs resulting from unclear responsibilities, economic risks through constraint of other sectors to meet increased aviation emissions and longterm costs to public health from the impact of air pollution and noise.

—————–

Introduction

1. The Government has said it will set “a clear direction” on airport expansion by the end of the year. If the Government is minded to go ahead with the Commission’s recommendation, it is likely that this will be followed by a further period of consultation. The Government should use this period to address the recommendations in our report, before making a final decision on whether to go ahead with the scheme and seek the approval of Parliament through a National Policy Statement or Hybrid Bill. (Paragraph 4)

Carbon Emissions

2. The Government, when making a decision, will need to consider its carbon emissions mitigation against the full range of demand scenarios modelled by the Commission. (Paragraph 10)

3. The former Airports Commissioners told us they relied heavily on the work of the Committee on Climate Change when undertaking their work. They denied that their modelled carbon prices and policies were policy recommendations – feeling that the CCC were better placed to take on this role. Governments have in the past been reluctant to accept CCC policy recommendations on aviation. The Government cannot credibly rely on the Commission’s analysis as evidence that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within the limits set by the 2008 Act if this continues to be the case. We recommend that the Government give the CCC the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s forecasting of aviation emissions and the feasibility of its possible carbon policy scenarios. The Government should act on any recommendations they make. (Paragraph 14)

4. The Commission’s indicative carbon prices and policies were not intended as recommendations. Nonetheless, they give an indication of the scale of intervention likely to be required to bring aviation emissions within 2005 levels by 2050. Before making any decision on Heathrow expansion, the Government should publish an assessment of the likely impact on the aviation industry – particularly regional airports – and wider economy of measures to mitigate the likely level of additional emissions from Heathrow. (Paragraph 17)

5. The Government should consider developing a policy framework to advise industry about how to prioritise trade-offs between noise and carbon pollution when adopting biofuels thus giving guidance on priorities. (Paragraph 20)

6. The Commission, industry and Committee on Climate Change envisage biofuels playing a limited role in controlling aviation emissions. However, the use of biofuels is not without its own risks and uncertainties. The Government must either examine the options to encourage aviation to move to advanced fuels that are sustainable across their entire life cycle (including indirect land use change and impacts on food supplies) or identify ways in which corresponding emissions reductions will be achieved. (Paragraph 21) 

7. The Government should set out its approach to the International Civil Aviation Organisation negotiations as the previous Government did ahead of the COP 21 negotiations in Paris. It will need to demonstrate either that the agreement it is seeking can incentivise the absolute carbon emission reductions required to meet the planning assumption or what measures it is prepared to take and to what timescale in order to make up the shortfall. (Paragraph 25)

8. There are some areas of the Commission’s work on operational and technological improvements that are still the subject of significant disagreement. We urge the Government to produce and publish its own thorough evaluation of the forecasts, including its assessment of whether take-up is likely to be sufficient without Government intervention. (Paragraph 28)

9. We draw four conclusions from the evidence we heard on carbon emissions. Firstly, because the planning assumption requires additional decarbonisation from other sectors, passenger growth in aviation cannot be seen in isolation from the progress on emissions reduction made by the rest of the economy. Secondly, the industry has taken steps to reduce its carbon emissions and, in areas such as fuel efficiency, market incentives are likely to ensure further progress. Thirdly, these measures in themselves are highly unlikely to achieve the planning assumption and further measures, including demand management, will be required. Finally, there is a significant gap between the theoretical models of how a mixture of these measures might allow the planning assumption to be met and the proposals currently on the domestic and international policy tables. (Paragraph 29)

10. We recommend that any Government decision on airport expansion should be accompanied by a package of measures to demonstrate a commitment to bringing emissions from international aviation within the economy-wide target set by the 2008 Act. They should also, as a minimum, commit to accepting the Committee on Climate Change’s advice on aviation in relation to the fifth carbon budget, introducing an effective policy framework to bring aviation emissions to 2005 levels by 2050 no later than autumn 2016 and pressing for the strongest possible international measures at the International Civil Aviation Organisation next year. (Paragraph 30)

Air Quality

11. Before the Government makes its decision, it should make its own assessment of the likely costs of preventing an adverse impact on health from expansion at Heathrow and publish it. (Paragraph 33)

12. Many of our witnesses interpreted the Commission’s interpretation of the Air Quality Directive as implying that significant increases in NO2 resulting from Heathrow expansion would be allowable because of worse performance elsewhere in London. This would make no sense in terms of protecting public health and wellbeing. The Government should make clear that this is not the position it intends to take when assessing the scheme for compliance with the Directive. (Paragraph 43)

13. Before the Government makes its decision, it will need to demonstrate that its revised air quality strategy can deliver compliance with legal pollution limits within the timescales agreed in the finalised plan to be approved by the European Commission. The Airports Commission Report: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise 29 It will also need to show that this can be maintained even when the expanded airport is operating at full capacity. Heathrow’s existing air quality strategy should also be revised to meet the new targets. Failing this, Heathrow should not be allowed to expand. (Paragraph 47)

14. The Commission recommended that the release of capacity at an expanded airport should be conditional on air quality standards being met. The Government should not approve expansion at Heathrow until it has developed a robust framework for delivery and accountability. This should have binding, real-world milestones and balance the need for investor certainty with assurances that a successor Government cannot set the conditions aside if they become inconvenient. (Paragraph 50)

15. Disaggregating the impacts of Heathrow on local traffic, and therefore air quality, is complex and contested by the airport and the local authorities. The Government must establish clearly delineated responsibilities for meeting air quality limits before deciding to go ahead with the scheme. We foresee significant legal and commercial risks further down the line if this is not done, for example, if central Government tried to hold local authorities to account for a failure to meet the targets that they attributed to airport expansion or to penalise the airport for pollution that it attributed to background traffic. (Paragraph 53)

16. The aspiration of moving the majority of journeys to public transport with no increase in road traffic is shared by all. Transport for London told us this would require large-scale modal shift of the scale seen in central London over the last 15 years. However, there is no agreement between them and the Commission over the extent of infrastructure improvements required to achieve this, the resulting costs or, by implication, the extent to which individual parties would meet those costs. Before the Government decides to go ahead with Heathrow expansion it should set out its assessment of what would be required in terms of infrastructure improvements, agreed responsibilities for funding and milestones for completion. This should be part of a wider transport strategy for West London to minimise the risk of unintended consequences. The Government must make a binding commitment that Heathrow will fund the infrastructure improvements necessary to accommodate an expanded Heathrow. (Paragraph 61)

Noise

17. The Commission highlighted the inadequacy of relying purely on averages when
measuring the impact of noise on communities. People living close to Heathrow do
not experience noise from flights into and out of the airport as a constant decibel
level throughout the day or night. So, although the measurement of average noise
experienced provides a helpful snapshot of noise over a short period, and a useful
historical comparison, it does not reflect a range of variables such as the type, height
or engine power of an aircraft. Nor does it account for peak noise events. And, if it
lacks detail, it may also ignore a swathe of people who are overflown infrequently but
loudly. The Government, when assessing the noise impact of an expanded Heathrow,
should do so against a full range of metrics and not just average noise experienced.
These metrics need to be measured against international standards such as World
Health Organisation recommendations and inform a change in Government policy
on aviation noise. (Paragraph 67)

18. The Commission recommended the establishment of an Independent Aviation Noise
Authority. This body will need a more up to date understanding of people’s attitudes to
noise if it is to be credible. One of the first tasks of such a body should be to undertake a
survey of people’s attitudes to aviation noise. The results of this survey should underpin
both its own work and future Government policy on managing noise. In particular,
they should form part of a piece of work to develop a set of metrics to assess noise
impact. (Paragraph 73)

19. For residents around Heathrow, noise is a major part of their day to day lives.
Understandably, they are deeply concerned about the impact of an expanded airport.
The Government needs to demonstrate that, in assessing the case for expansion, it has
based its decision on whether an expanded Heathrow would be noisier or less noisy
than a two runway Heathrow at the same point in time – taking into account respite
and the need for predicable relief from overflying. (Paragraph 81)

20. The Commission’s recommended ban on night flights was a key part of the package
proposed by the Commission. The Government should publish a plan, including a
series of binding milestones, to deliver the proposed ban as part of any announcement
to proceed with expansion at Heathrow as recommended by the Commission.
(Paragraph 84)

21. Levels of trust between Heathrow and the local community are an historical
and enduring issue which has impaired effective community engagement. If the
Government decides in favour of expansion it should put in place a framework to
ensure that mitigating measures are introduced promptly. The Airports Commission
also recommended the establishment of two bodies – an Independent Aviation Noise
Authority and a Community Engagement Board – to address this. As part of the efforts
to restore trust and effective community engagement, these should be introduced in
the next year, even if the Government decides against Heathrow expansion. One of
the first pieces of work for the Community Engagement Board should be to establish
the extent to which commitments made at the time of Terminal 5 have been met.

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Full report at

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmenvaud/389/389.pdf

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50,000 take part London Climate March – with a highly visible “No Runway” bloc

On the day before the start of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, there were some 2,500 climate marches and events around the world.  Unfortunately, the Paris authorities did not allow a march, due to security concerns. However, in London about 50,000 people braved gales and rain as they marched through London to Whitehall to demand that world leaders take urgent action.  It was the biggest demonstration of its kind the UK has ever seen.  There was a determined aviation bloc – marching with the “No 3rd Runway” fabric plane. Braving gusts of wind of around 40mph, those opposing a Heathrow runway put in a highly visible presence, even if the chants of “No Ifs. No Buts. No 3rd  Runway” sometimes got drowned out by the Hari Krishna music system in the same part of the march. Caroline Lucas briefly helped carry the “No New Runways” banner, and so did John McDonnell. Addressing the crowds alongside a host of other speakers, Jeremy Corbyn said: “The issues facing the world in Paris this week are pollution, climate change, inequality, environmental refugees, war refugees and resources wars. If we are to make a real difference in Paris, all these issues have got to be thought about and addressed.” International aviation and shipping are not getting proper carbon emissions reduction targets in the Paris negotiations.
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29th November 2015

2015 Climate March Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas MP helps carry the banner.

2015 Climate March John McDonnell

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor and MP for Hayes & Harlington, helped carry the banner in Whitehall

World leaders from more than 50 countries are meeting in Paris for United Nations’ talks to secure strong deals to curb rising temperatures and shift the world to 100 per cent renewable energy.

2015 Climate March crowd

50,000 marched – perhaps the biggest ever London climate event

2015 Climate March

Finally at the end of the march, having survived the gales, in front of Parliament

 

The march in the capital was one of 80 in the UK and almost 2,500 around the world as demonstrators issued a rallying call for action to combat global warming.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also attended and told the crowds gathered in central London for a march against climate change that they had a message for the politicians gathering in Paris for talks next week – ‘Do what you are sent there to do.’

Dame Vivienne Westwood stressed the devastating impact of global warming while Jeremy Corbyn also urged politicians to act now.

Oscar-winner Emma Thompson called on world leaders to grab the ‘historic’ opportunity to reach a deal on tackling climate change as she joined thousands of environmental protesters in London on Sunday.

Thousands of people set out on a march through the capital from Hyde Park to Whitehall in an effort to persuade world leaders to reach agreements on global warming.

A march in Paris that was called off after the terror attacks two weeks ago was carried out symbolically when thousands of pairs of shoes were placed in the Place de la Republique, including pairs from the Pope and United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

 

 

Link to Daily Mail story, with lots of good photos

In London Sunday, just one day before the Paris Climate Conference begins on November 30th. Thousands of protesters demanding that world leaders enforce stricter climate-protecting guidelines have already lined the streets of Paris, and similar marches were orchestrated Sunday in cities like Madrid, Rome and the British capital, where an estimated 50,000 people, including the Radiohead singer, gathered ahead of COP21.

Paris conference asking for “an ambitious commitment to climate action, starting now, that will limit future global warming to below 2.0°C (3.6 °F) relative to pre-industrial levels,” among other recommended efforts to prevent further exacerbating climate change.

“We are deeply concerned that our global economic and industrial systems are accelerating rates of extinction, desertification and soil depletion, degrading ecosystems, acidifying and littering our rivers and oceans, and resulting in a relentless rise in greenhouse gas emissions driving irreversible climate change,” the petition stated. “In short, we are overwhelming the planet’s life support systems.”

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“The Elephants in the Room” at the Paris talks: international aviation & shipping

Transport & Environment (T&E), a Brussels NGO, is calling on countries participating in COP21 to insist that the UN organisations responsible for international aviation and shipping set realistic reduction targets consistent with 2°C objective and adopt measures to implement them. The two sectors are the “Elephants in the Room” at Paris.  Though these two sectors are crucial to our global economy, they must grow in a way that does not come at the expense of the planet.  Aviation is responsible for almost 5% of all global warming and its emissions are predicted to grow by up to 300% in 2050. Such a growth rate would make the target of keeping the global temperature increase to under 2°C almost impossible to achieve. Further ambition is required, including cooperation between the UNFCCC and the ICAO. T&E have put together a briefing debunking the myths about the carbon emissions of aviation (and of shipping). Well worth reading. The industry claims that “aviation accounts for 2% of global emissions”; it claims “aviation is delivering increased efficiency gains”; that “thousands of flights already with alternative fuel, more expected”. It claims the industry “has a target of Carbon Neutral Growth from 2020”; and that it should not be a source of climate finance. Each in turn refuted by T&E.

Elephants in the room. With sign COP21
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See the inforaphic at   http://www.elephantsintheroom.eu/

The UN body dealing with aviation is the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the body for shipping is the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

 

Elephants in the room COP21

1273 = The number of mega tonnes of CO2 emitted by aviation and shipping in 2012

250 = The % projected increase in shipping emissions by 2050 if no action is taken

300 = The % projected increase in aviation emissions by 2050 if no action is taken

40   = The % of CO2 emitted by aviation and shipping in 2050 if nothing is done


 

Full briefing from T&E:

COP21 international transport briefing from T&E


 

T&E asks:

Would it make sense to try and keep your house cool with the heating on?

International aviation is responsible for 5% of man-made global warming and shipping for almost 3% of all Greenhouse gas emissions. And their emissions are expected to increase by up to 270% if no action is taken. Therefore, limiting a temperature increase to 2°C won’t be possible if the COP Agreement does not include emission reduction obligations from international aviation and shipping.

Transport & Environment therefore calls for countries participating in COP21 to insist that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) set realistic reduction targets consistent with 2°C objective and adopt measures to implement them.

These sectors are crucial to our global economy, but they must grow in a way that does not come at the expense of the planet and the world’s most vulnerable states.
International Aviation Emissions – its Flight-path to 2 Degrees

Aviation is responsible for almost 5% of all global warming and its emissions are predicted to grow by up to 300% in 2050. Such a growth rate would make the target of keeping the global temperature increase to under 1.5/2°C almost impossible to achieve. Further ambition is required, and cooperation between the UNFCCC and the International Civil Organisation is essential to achieving this.


Industry myths debunked

Aviation:

ICAO is nervous that the Paris Conference is being held at an airport lest aviation’s climate record be scrutinised.

Industry claims that “aviation accounts for 2% of global emissions”. (ATAG, October 2015)

The reality is that industry always plays down the climate impact from aviation. In reality it is responsible for 4.9% of man-induced global warming. (13)

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Industry claims that “aviation is delivering increased efficiency gains”. (ATAG, October 2015)

The reality is that a 2015 report by the ICCT has found that aviation is 12 years off the efficiency target set by ICAO. The sector is still not bound by an efficiency standard, and the one currently being developed by ICAO risks having minimal or no impact on CO2 emissions from new aircraft. There is little transparency in this area. ICAO refuses to disclose the current state of fleet-wide efficiency gains. (14)

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Industry claims that “thousands of flights already with alternative fuel, more expected”.

The reality is that the current usage of alternative fuels for aviation is very low. And any increased use of alternative fuel used must be fully sustainable and have full transparency. That’s why we need clear standards and robust transparency provisions in any policies which support alternative fuel.

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Industry claims that “industry has a target of CNG from 2020”.

The reality is that this target is a weak contribution to the shared global objective of limiting a temperature increase to 2 degrees. It is a start but industry will also argue it is the endpoint. With projected growth rates up of to 300% by 2050, aviation could account for up to 15% of all global emissions under a 2 degree scenario (15). The ICAO Assembly is due to agree the measure to achieve CNG from 2020 but the process is now marked by fundamental disagreements over legal and equity issues involving developing countries. Should an agreement be reached, it will rely entirely on offsetting – other sectors will be paid to make the emission reductions that aviation won’t.

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Industry claims that industry has adopted its own target of a 50% reduction on 2005 levels by 2050.(15)

The reality is that Industry has opposed any efforts to make this target operational, rejecting any obligation in the Paris Agreement to increase their ambition. Meanwhile ICAO has failed to follow its 2013 Assembly Resolution which called for work to begin on a post-2020 target.

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Industry claims that “aviation should not be a source of climate finance”.

The reality is that airlines pay no tax on fuel used for international aviation, a subsidy which amounts to €60 billion per annum. International aviation is largely the preserve of the world’s wealthiest, while climate change will disproportionality affect the world’s poorest. Climate finance is a key element in achieving an ambitious climate agreement – aviation’s tax-free status must end and flyers start contributing (16).

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Absolute reductions in aviation GHG emissions are possible and necessary to keep warming below 1.5/2 degrees. Paris must send a strong signal to ICAO and the aviation industry that ambitious targets and measures, not PR campaigns, are required.

References for the points above here.

(13)  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231009003574

(14) http://www.transportenvironment.org/news/aviation-industry-12-years-2020-fuel-efficiency-target-Aviation

(15) http://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/Shipping%20and%20aviation%20emissions%20and%202%20degrees%20v1-6.pdf

(16) https://www.iata.org/policy/environment/Documents/iata-factsheet-climatechange.pdf


Industry myths debunked

Shipping

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have made a number of claims about their performance in tackling climate change that are contradicted by the facts.

They say that “world leaders might be tempted to consider specific measures aimed at reducing shipping’s overall contribution of CO2 emissions, such as an overall cap. Such measures would artificially limit the ability of shipping to meet the demand created by the world economy, or would unbalance the level playing field that the shipping industry needs for efficient operation, and therefore must be avoided.” (IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu, September 2015)
The reality is that the Parties included in Annex I shall pursue limitation or reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol from aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, respectively. (Kyoto Protocl 2.2 1997)

His call is not just a danger to the planet, but as the research points out, also to the shipping industry’s future prosperity, and therefore the future stability of world trade.” (Marshall Islands Foreign Ministry, Oct 2015)
They say that the shipping industry is delivering carbon neutral growth. (1)

The reality is that ship GHG emissions are up 70% since 1990 and according to the current best available science (Third IMO GHG Study) are expected to grow a further 50-250% by 2050. (2)

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They say that IMO measures reduced ship GHG emissions from 2.8% to 2.2% of total between 2008 and 2012. (3)

The reality is that since the implementation date for the IMO’s first regulations on energy efficiency is 2013, there can be no attribution of these measures to the observed trend. It is true, this change has occurred, and is because shipping GHG underwent a small absolute reduction, whilst the total emissions from other sectors increased. The absolute emission reduction is due to a reduction in shipping demand growth due to the Global Financial Crisis and fleet overcapacity resulting in energy-saving slow steaming.

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They say that slow steaming and the CO2 savings it produces are hard wired into the fleet (4) and here to stay. (5)

The reality is that there is no economic development or regulation that has occurred since publication of the Third IMO GHG Study that has ‘hard wired’ slow steaming into shipping. Referring to the fact that a large explanation for shipping’s CO2 reduction is slow steaming, a phenomenon recognised to be a function of market conditions, the Third IMO GHG Study says “…All three [oil tankers, container ships and bulk carriers] contain latent emissions increases (suppressed by slow steaming and historically low cartivity and productivity) that could return… if the market dynamics that informed those trends revert to their previous levels…”.

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They say that ships built after 2025 will be 30% more fuel efficient.(6)

The reality is that it is only true if compared with a period of historically low design efficiency; design efficiency deteriorated 10% between 1990 and 2010.(7)

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They say that a cap on global ship emissions is a cap on world trade.(8)

The reality is that between 2007 and 2012 trade increased and emissions fell by 10% (9), and numerous studies have shown that further emission reductions are feasible (10).  The real threat to world shipping comes from delay. The world’s diminishing carbon budget means that a delay in reducing shipping emissions will require steeper emission reductions from this sector in later years, presenting a far bigger challenge to the industry which may in fact damage world trade.

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They say that shipping is part of the solution to climate change.(11)

The reality is that if all other countries and sectors achieve decarbonisation pathways consistent with a 2 degree stabilisation, under current policy shipping will be responsible for up to ~17% of global CO2 emissions by 205012. Even further policy at IMO that constrains shipping to carbon-neutral growth would lead shipping to be ~6% of global CO2 emissions by 2050. Either scenario would make shipping an increasing part of the problem, and a risk for the achievement of climate stabilisation targets.

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Absolute reductions in international shipping’s GHG emissions are possible and necessary to keep warming below 1.5/2 degrees, but to make this happen the Paris Agreement must send a strong signal to the IMO that targets and measures to achieve that end are required.

References for the points above here.

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“We need to include the aviation and shipping sectors in the final agreement to be reached in Paris. The climate impact of international aviation and shipping are equal to that of Germany and South Korea respectively, yet both sectors may be exempted from the emission targets to be set in Paris.”

Comment by Matthias Groote, Member of the European Parliament, S&D (Socialists & Democrats) Spokesperson on climate and part of the EP delegation to COP21

“Without ambitious mitigation action in these areas, it will therefore be even more difficult to achieve the internationally agreed goal of keeping the average global temperature rise below 2°C.”

Comment by the New Climate Economy

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T&E is holding an event, on Thursday, December 3rd 2015 (10:30 to 12:00) . At the EU pavilion, room Brussels.   The event will bring together leading experts from industry, academia and civil society to discuss what is being and can be done, and what role UNFCCC and the COP Agreement must play towards the objective of reducing emissions from the sector.

Organised by Transport & Environment and the Centre for Biological Diversity

SPEAKERS

Prof Alice Bows-Larkin, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Kassie Siegel, Senior Counsel, Centre for Biological Diversity
Andreas Hardeman, Assistant Director Environment Policy, International Air Transport Association
Lucas Chancel, Coordinator – World Inequality Report, Paris School of Economics
Introductory remarks and moderation by Claude Turmes MEP (Greens/EFA)

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See earlier:

17 NGOs write to European Commission to get them to push for inclusion of aviation and shipping in Paris agreement

In response to the announcement that the carbon emissions international aviation and shipping are to be left off the draft Paris agreement, 17 European NGOs and environmental networks have written to the Arias Cañete (Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy in the European Commission) and EU-28 Climate Ministers. They say the omission of these two large sectors, with their combined huge carbon emissions, would – if sustained – greatly undermine efforts to limit a global temperature increase to 1.5/2 degrees. Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming with shipping emitting 3% of global CO2, and their carbon emissions are set to grow by up to 250% by 2050. The group of 17 say they represent millions of concerned European citizens. They ask that the Commission ensures these two sectors are covered by the Paris Agreement, so that they make a fair contribution to the world’s shared objective of a sustainable, low-carbon future. The letter states: “What the world needs from Paris is an agreement which charts our path to a low-carbon future. What we must not get is an agreement which says ambition for some, exemptions for others. Paris cannot mean these sectors are fuel-tax and now emissions-target free.”

Click here to view full story…

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Committee on Climate Change says additional policies are needed to keep UK aviation CO2 below 37.5MtCO2 cap

The Committee on Climate Change has produced its advice on the level of the 5th carbon budget, covering the period 2028-2032. The CCC states: “While UK demand for international aviation is likely to grow considerably, emissions must be limited. Previous analysis by the Committee concluded that, based on the available evidence, aviation should plan for its emissions in 2050 to be no higher than those in 2005. That requires strong efficiency improvements to balance demand growth of about 60%.”  And …” International aviation emissions should not formally be included in carbon budgets at this stage, though carbon budgets should continue to be set on track to a 2050 target inclusive of these emissions. We will provide further advice following the ICAO negotiations in 2016, and recommend that Government revisit inclusion at that point.” (The CO2 emissions from shipping will be included in the 5th carbon budget.)  UK aviation CO2 emissions are currently set to overshoot the 37.5MtCO2 level even without any new runways and to be higher still if a runway is added at either Heathrow or Gatwick. The CCC says in a scenario where emissions are not capped and only low ‘carbon abatement’ options (such as technology improvements) are available, aviation emissions could be as high as 51.9 Mt by 2050, underlining the need for policy action to address the gap.
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What aviation means for the fifth carbon budget

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the official body advising the Government on climate change policy, has today published its advice on the fifth carbon budget, including a restatement of its recommendation that aviation emissions should be no higher in 2050 than in 2005 (37.5 Mt). CO2 from the sector is currently set to overshoot this level even without any new runways and to be higher still if expansion takes place at either Heathrow or Gatwick.

New CCC analysis published today indicates that in a scenario where emissions are not capped and only low ‘carbon abatement’ options (such as technology improvements) are available, aviation emissions could be as high as 51.9 Mt by 2050, underlining the need for policy action to address the gap.

Carbon budgets ensure that the UK is on the right path to deliver the economy-wide 80% emissions reduction required under the Climate Change Act. So far, the Government has consistently adopted and legislated CCC’s advice on the appropriate level of ambition for carbon budgets. The fifth budget will cover emissions from 2028-2032.

Image credit: Committee on Climate Change

 

Where does aviation fit in the UK climate change plan?

The CCC’s recommendation that carbon budgets must account for emissions from international aviation and shipping is longstanding. To date these emissions have not been formally included in carbon budgets given concerns about the appropriate approach to accounting for emissions from international travel.

The advice published today calls on Government to begin including shipping emissions in carbon budgets, but that “continuing uncertainties in aviation’s accounting within the EU ETS mean inclusion would be impractical at this time”. In the interim, CCC maintains that carbon budgets should continue to allow headroom for the future inclusion of aviation.

AEF supports inclusion of aviation emissions in carbon budgets and we set out some possible approaches for doing so in our response to the CCC’s consultation on its fifth carbon budget. But a continuation by Governbment of the current approach of ensuring that the UK is on course to deliver the long-term emissions target of 80% in a way that includes all sectors, and makes allowance for the future inclusion of aviation, is more important than formal inclusion of aviation emissions in carbon budgets in our view.

CCC recommends that aviation emissions should be no higher than 37.5 Mt in 2050 – the level in 2005 – and that the level of emissions reduction this assumes from other sectors in order to achieve the economy-wide target of an 80% cut is at the limit of what is feasible.

In June this year, the CCC advised the Government to draw up a policy plan for closing the gap between currently forecast aviation emissions and the 37.5 Mt target.

What does this mean for the runway debate?

The Airports Commission, in making its recommendations for a new runway at Heathrow, produced two sets of forecasts. One, the ‘carbon capped’ forecast, assumed that Government continues to act on the CCC’s advice in limiting aviation emissions to 37.5 Mt. The other, the ‘carbon traded’ forecast, ignored any constraint on emissions under the Climate Change Act and assumed that the only action to control UK aviation emissions would be inclusion in an international carbon trading scheme.

Today’s advice from the CCC implies that Government must work on the basis of a ‘carbon capped’ scenario, and that the advice of the Airports Commission to build a new South East runway should be considered in this context.

What do we want Government to do?

The Government will propose draft legislation in response to the CCC’s advice on the Fifth Carbon Budget in 2016. AEF will be asking for Government to implement the CCC’s recommendation to allow headroom for aviation emissions, and to reconsider whether in fact sufficient information either is or will be available to formally include aviation as well as shipping emissions in carbon budgets from 2028.

To demonstrate its commitment to keeping aviation emissions at a level compatible with the Climate Change Act, Government should also set out a detailed policy plan for limiting aviation demand growth to no more than 60% above its level in 2005, in line with CCC’s recommendationof June 2015, and no decisions should be taken to increase South East airport capacity unless it can be shown to be compatible with such a plan.

We’re hoping that the international climate change conference in Paris this December will produce some ambitious long-term commitments. We’re also hoping to see some evidence following the conference that the UK is willing to honour its domestic climate commitments now they are starting to bite. And getting aviation policy right is an important part of this picture.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/11/26/what-the-fifth-carbon-budget-advice-means-for-aviation/

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The government will propose draft legislation for the 5th budget in 2016.


The Committee on Climate Change’s report:

Sectoral scenarios for the Fifth Carbon Budget Technical report  -November 2015

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Some extracts from the CCC Fifth Carbon Budget Technical Report:

 

The Committee on Climate Change has produced its advice on the level of the 5th carbon budget, covering the period 2028-2032, as required under Section 4 of the Climate Change Act.  

UK emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) covered by carbon budgets were 520 MtCO2e in 2014. This excludes emissions from international aviation and shipping, for which 2014 estimates are not yet available but accounted for 41 MtCO2e in 2013.

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(Page 9). Aviation. While UK demand for international aviation is likely to grow considerably, emissions must be limited. Previous analysis by the Committee concluded that, based on the available evidence, aviation should plan for its emissions in 2050 to be no higher than those in 2005. That requires strong efficiency improvements to balance demand growth of about 60%.

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(Page 128) • Aviation. Our previous planning assumption for aviation emissions to be around 2005 levels in 2050 (i.e. 37.5 MtCO2), allowing an increase in demand of around 60%, remains appropriate. International aviation emissions should not formally be included in carbon budgets at this stage, though carbon budgets should continue to be set on track to a 2050 target inclusive of these emissions. We will provide further advice following the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) negotiations in 2016, and recommend that Government revisit inclusion at that point.

Shipping. The scope of the budget should be broadened to include international shipping, with an additional 40 MtCO2e added to the fifth carbon budget, reflecting projected emissions on a bunker fuel basis and under currently agreed international policies.

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(Page 129). Domestic transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 117 MtCO2e in 2013, accounting for 21% of total UK GHG emissions (Figure 5.1). Within domestic transport, 94% of GHG emissions come from surface transport CO2, the remaining 6% being due to domestic aviation and shipping CO2 and non-CO2 emissions:

Emissions from international aviation and shipping were 41 MtCO2 in 2013. These are not currently formally included in carbon budgets, but are covered by the UK’s 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990.

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(Page 150 ) b) Options for decarbonising aviation and shipping

Aviation emissions scenarios

The key drivers of future aviation emissions are demand for air travel and the carbon intensity of flying:

Demand for air travel.  The key drivers of demand will include future GDP growth, and fuel and carbon prices which feed through to ticket prices. Demand for air travel is particularly sensitive to changes in income rather than ticket prices, and will also be affected by the availability of alternatives to air travel (e.g. rail and potentially video conferencing).

Carbon intensity of flying. There are a range of options available to reduce the carbon intensity of aviation. These include improving the fuel efficiency of aircraft through engine and airframe developments, through efficiency improvements in air traffic management and in airlines’ operational practices, and through use of sustainable biofuels.

In the absence of measures, aviation emissions are likely to continue to increase. In our previous reports111, [Reference 111: For example, see CCC (2009) Meeting the UK aviation target – options for reducing emissions to 2050 and CCC (2012) Scope of carbon budgets: Statutory advice on inclusion of international aviation and shipping]  we set out analysis of the path for aviation emissions to 2050. This concluded that appropriate long-term assumptions for Government planning are for aviation emissions to be around 2005 levels in 2050 (i.e. 37.5 MtCO2). Under our ‘Likely’ scenario this was achieved through a 0.8% annual improvement in fuel efficiency, 10% take-up of biofuels, and by constraining demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels in 2050.

For this report we commissioned DfT to model a number of emission scenarios to 2050 to test the achievability of our planning assumption. Our scenarios cover different uptake rates of abatement options:

• Central emissions scenario. Emissions are capped at 37.5 MtCO2 in 2050, in line with our planning assumption.

• High emissions ‘Barriers’ scenario. Emissions are not capped and only low abatement options are available.

• Low emissions ‘Max’ scenario. High abatement options are delivered.

In 2050, the Central scenario meets our planning assumption of 37.5 MtCO2, of which international aviation emissions are 36.2 MtCO2. In the Barriers scenario emissions are higher, at 51.9 MtCO2, and in the Max scenario emissions are lower at 32.6 MtCO2 (Figure 5.5).

Figure 5.5: UK aviation emission scenarios (2010-2050) Source: DfT projections for CCC (2015).

CCC scenarios 2010 - 2050 Nov 2015

Under our central scenario, which is designed to meet the 2050 planning assumption, emissions would be unaffected by the assumed level of runway capacity. To the extent that additional runway capacity was provided in future, there would need to be less growth in demand and hence emissions at other airports in order to stay within the overall planning assumption (or higher abatement options would have to be delivered).

The key conclusion from our analysis is that our original planning assumption remains appropriate and feasible. In order to achieve this, additional policies will be needed. For example, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is currently developing a market based measure to reduce international aviation emissions and aiming to agree this in autumn 2016. We will monitor the outcome of these talks closely to assess consistency with our planning assumption and provide further advice if necessary.

 

Inclusion of international aviation emissions in carbon budgets

In principle, emissions from international aviation should be included in carbon budgets unless there are strong practical considerations which prevent this. Where they cannot be included, budgets must be set such that the 2050 target in the Act can be met including these emissions – that has been the approach to date and is continued in this report.

Currently, inclusion of international aviation remains impractical, given the design of the EU ETS for aviation and ongoing uncertainty about how this will be treated in future:

• Given that aviation is included in the EU ETS, accounting rules for carbon budgets suggest that if international aviation is to be included in carbon budgets then it should be on the basis of UK allowances rather than on a gross basis (e.g. bunker fuels). However, the current design of the EU ETS for aviation means that only emissions from flights within Europe are covered. Inclusion on this basis would be unfavourable: it would leave a proportion of emissions outside carbon budgets, and the exact amount of UK emissions to add to carbon budgets and report annually would be unclear given the EU ETS is administered on an airline, rather than Member State, basis.

• ICAO negotiations about a global market-based measure for international aviation emissions are expected to conclude in autumn 2016. At that point the implications for carbon budgets should be assessed, including whether it is practical to include international aviation emissions in carbon budgets or more sensible to continue with formal exclusion, whilst making allowance for the emissions in the way the budget is set.

This approach to international aviation emissions does not affect the level of effort implied by our recommended fifth carbon budget. Whether or not it is included in budgets, our proposals are on a path to meeting the 2050 target with international aviation included.


 

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(Page 163)

Domestic aviation emissions could be in the range 1.6-1.8 MtCO2e in 2030, up to a 14% fall 2013 levels, largely reflecting improvements in the fuel efficiency of aircraft. [Domestic aviation and shipping includes military aircraft and shipping]

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(Page 170). 6. Delivering the scenarios

To deliver the abatement set out in our Central scenario, action is needed in the near term. The key policy implications of our scenarios are set out below.

[This includes]

Push for successful negotiations to reduce emissions from international aviation and shipping. This should ensure the agreement for international aviation delivers a policy framework consistent with the longer term climate objective, and that cost-effective abatement is incentivised in shipping, such that these sectors contribute to global emissions reduction.

 

The CCC report:  Sectoral scenarios for the Fifth Carbon Budget Technical report.  November 2015

https://d2kjx2p8nxa8ft.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Sectoral-scenarios-for-the-fifth-carbon-budget-Committee-on-Climate-Change.pdf


See earlier:

Government must curb growing aviation demand to meet CO2 targets, warns climate committee

The Government has until 2016 to set out an effective plan for limiting aviation emissions, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said today. The UK’s official advisory body on delivery of the Climate Change Act used its 5th ‘Progress Report’ to Government to highlight the need for action on aviation, including constraints on demand.

AEF welcomes the CCC’s intervention as an important reminder of the climate change challenge facing UK aviation today, especially in the context of the airport capacity debate. AEF’s response to the CCC’s call for evidence on the fifth carbon budget highlighted the need for the CCC to reiterate its previous advice on the importance of aviation’s contribution to meeting the UK emissions target and on the need for future passenger demand to be managed.

It is encouraging to see the CCC reinforce this message while calling for the Government to set out a policy framework demonstarting how it will manage aviation emissions.

The CCC’s announcement comes on the eve of the Airports Commission’s recommendation for a where to build a new South East runway. While stopping short of explicitly recommending against the Commission’s findings, CCC cautions that “Decisions taken now need to avoid ‘lock-in’ to high carbon pathways” (p.11 of the summary and recommendations) . Since technological options for tackling aviation emissions are limited and aviation will remain dependent on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, the warning has particular relevance for decisions about airport capacity.

AEF has consistently highlighted the gap in policy for delivering the long-term emissions target for aviation that CCC recommends. With the Airports Commission having so far ducked the question, despite admitting that a new runway will further increase the challenge of limiting aviation CO2 to the target level, CCC has placed the ball firmly back in the Government’s court. Today’s report recommends very specifically that by 2016 the Government should “publish an effective policy framework for aviation emissions” that plans for UK 2050 emissions being no higher than 2005 levels (implying around a 60% increase in demand) as well as pushing for strong international and EU policies.

Our report on the climate change impacts of a new runway, published earlier this month, highlighted the scale of the challenge in trying to work South East airport expansion into any convincing policy plan that meets the CCC’s requirements. While in the absence of new airport capacity, the predicted overshoot of the emissions target looks possible to tackle, if expansion was approved at either Heathrow or Gatwick the only options for meeting the target would be draconian restrictions on regional airports or large increases in the cost of flying to manage demand. In reality, we argue, neither approach would be deliverable.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/06/30/government-must-curb-growing-aviation-demand-to-meet-co2-targets-warns-climate-committee/

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and also

Committee on Climate Change confirm aviation CO2 must remain capped – putting new runway into question

On the eve of the Airports Commission’s runway recommendation, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has told Government it has until 2016 to set out an effective plan for limiting aviation emissions. The Government’s official advisory body on delivery of the UK’s Climate Change Act used its 5th ‘Progress Report’ to Government to highlight the need for action on aviation, including constraints on demand. The CCC says that given the anticipated growth in emissions from the sector, the DfT must set out how it will ensure that emissions from aviation are no higher in 2050 than they were in 2005 (37.5 Mt). The limited scope for improvements in aviation technology mean that demand growth must be kept to no more than 60% above its 2005 level. Current forecasts of air passenger growth with associated CO2 emissions exceed this level EVEN WITHOUT adding a new runway. With a new SE runway the growth in passenger demand – and thus CO2 emissions – would be even higher. Extensive analysis by the AEF has shown that a new runway would make the aviation emissions cap (37.5MtCO2 annually) impossible to achieve. Ruling out a new runway is the most obvious first step for the Government to take in response to the CCC’s advice. Adding a runway, and then having to deal with the extra carbon problem it has produced, is not an efficient way to deal with the issue.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

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French economist suggests high tax on premium air travel, to raise climate adaptation finance

How to tax the people who emit the most carbon is a tricky matter. A French economist, Thomas Piketty, has suggested a high tax on premium air travel. He says: “A €180 levy on business class tickets and €20 on economy class would raise the estimated €150 billion a year needed for climate adaptation.”  It could be a proxy for privilege. It “might be easier to implement but less well targeted at top emitters” than other options. That is one proposal to address global inequalities between high-polluting individuals and the victims of climate change.  A tax on air tickets to finance development programs already exists in some countries.  Piketty suggests we need to increase its level and generalise it.  Across the world, about 10% of people are responsible for 45% of global CO2 emissions, and increasingly some of the high emitters are a privileged elite in emerging economies. The rich in these countries now emit more carbon than working class Europeans. Meanwhile, there is a persistent shortage of finance for climate adaptation, and the OECD said just 16% of climate finance in 2013/14 went to adaptation. In the UK, a “frequent flyer” levy has been proposed, so anyone’s first flight is tax free, but the tax shoots up with each successive flight.  The reduced demand for air travel would make an additional runway unnecessary.
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Thomas Piketty proposes flight tax to raise climate funds

French economists moot €180 levy on business class tickets to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change

By Megan Darby (for Climate Home, part of the Guardian Environment Network)

5.11.2015

Taxing business flights is one way to target high emitting lifestyles of the global rich.

Air travel should be taxed to protect the world’s vulnerable from drought, flooding and sea level rise.

A €180 ($196/£130) levy on business class tickets and €20 on economy class would raise the estimated €150bn a year needed for climate adaptation.

That is one proposal by French economists Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty to address global inequalities between high-polluting individuals and the victims of climate change.

“Taxing flights is one way to target high emitting lifestyles, especially if we tax business class more than economy class,” Chancel told Climate Home.

“A tax on air tickets to finance development programs already exists in some countries. What we need is to increase its level and generalise it.”

Piketty – author of Capital, a bestseller on wealth inequality – and Chancel outline huge disparities in people’s carbon footprints across the world.

One-tenth of people are responsible for 45% of global emissions.

“Economic inequalities are reaching record high levels and reducing them constitutes a key challenge to policy-makers in the coming decades,” said Chancel.

“It’s the same thing with carbon: another huge challenge that puts our societies at risk. If we fail to address both, our societies can collapse.”

Increasingly, they say, inequalities within national borders are more important than those between countries.

The richest 1% in America, Luxemburg and Saudi Arabia emit 200+ tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year, more than 25 times the global average. The poorest in Mozambique, Rwanda and Malawi are responsible for around 0.1t CO2e.

But in between, a privileged elite in emerging economies is starting to outstrip working class Europeans.

Even in Tanzania, classed as one of the world’s least developed countries, the richest 1% emit as much as the global average – and the same as the second poorest decile in France.

Meanwhile, there is a persistent shortage of finance for measures such as drought-resistant seeds and flood defences to shield those endangered by carbon profligacy.

Just 16% of climate finance in 2013/14 went to adaptation, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates, with the rest going to low carbon projects.

The report suggests ways to close the gap, arguing it shouldn’t continue to rest on EU funds, given the growing emissions of China’s upper class.

In one scenario, all above-average emitters are taxed on carbon above that average threshold. That implies North Americans contribute 36%, Europeans 20% and Chinese people 15%.

In another, only the 1% pay. That skews the distribution way over to North America, which coughs up 57% of the total.

An airline levy is mooted as a proxy for privilege. It “might be easier to implement but less well targeted at top emitters” than other options, the report says.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/05/thomas-piketty-proposes-flight-tax-to-raise-climate-funds

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Forget airport expansion, we need a Frequent Flyer Levy

23.11.2015

By Steven Devlin (New Economics Foundation. NEF)

Photo credit:   Benson Kua

Aviation emissions are a rapidly increasing environmental problem predominantly caused by a small and wealthy travelling elite. Yet flying receives exceptionally favourable treatment in our tax system.

As the Government prepares to announce its position on expanding airport capacity in the coming weeks, we put the spotlight on proposals for a new Frequent Flyer Levy.

A Frequent Flyer Levy would punish excessive flying, limit the environmental impact in a progressive way  and eliminate the need for new runways.

By 2050 it is expected that a quarter of all UK carbon emissions will be due to aviation.

This is because the UK has the highest level of flights taken per person of any country, [probably a little more even than the USA] and because, unlike most other sectors, the aviation industry is not expected to reduce its environmental impact in absolute terms over the long run.

The Department for Transport forecasts that demand for flights from UK airports will more than double between 2010 and 2050. The driver for this demand increase is predominantly short-haul leisure travel, rather than business travel or long-haul flights.

Demand for flights is distributed highly unequally among individuals. It is estimated that 70% of all flights in 2013 were taken by just 15% of the population, while 57% of the population took no flights abroad whatsoever, in that year.

Those who take flights are also significantly better off compared to the general population. For example, the mean income for leisure passengers at Edinburgh Airport in 2013 was £56,288, more than twice the average Scottish income for that year.

The continued expansion of air travel, therefore, is a very substantial environmental threat driven by a small, wealthy elite, the consequences of which will be borne primarily by the global poor.

Air travel currently benefits from a highly favourable taxation regime in the UK, with exemptions from VAT and fuel duty. The current system of Air Passenger Duty (APD) amounts to a small average charge on each flight. [APD is £13 per return short haul flight to anywhere in Europe.It is £26 for a return domestic flight. And it is £71 for any other return flight]. 

NEF research has shown that reforming this taxation scheme to create a new Frequent Flyer Levy, which has no charge for the first flight each year and an increasing tax rate for each successive flight, could limit the environmental impact in line with official targets, while redistributing the opportunity to fly down the income spectrum.

The Government is expected to announce a decision soon on whether or not to expand Heathrow, following the Davies Commission recommendation to do so.

Expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick is incompatible with our climate targets under the Climate Change Act, and is likely to result in increased air and noise pollution for the local area.  Modelling of the Frequent Flyer Levy proposal finds that this policy could obviate the need for any new runway capacity.

The FFL would be efficient (raising large amounts of revenue with relatively little economic distortion) and progressive (being borne primarily by richer households).

Leading French economist and LSE Professor Thomas Picketty also recently advocated an increasing aviation tax as a progressive tool for combatting climate change.

http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/forget-airport-expansion-we-need-a-frequent-flyer-levy

 


 

Weekly Economics Podcast from NEF (New Economics Foundation)

In this week’s podcast Leo Murray from the campaign ‘A Free Ride’ discusses airport expansion, its links to the UK economy and how a Frequent Flyer Levy could work.

Listen: https://soundcloud.com/weeklyeconomicspodcast/flying/

Subscribe: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/weekly-economics-podcast/id970353148

NEF blog: A fairer way to fly (http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/a-fairer-way-to-fly)


NEF report:

Managing aviation passenger demand with a Frequent Flyer Levy 

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COP21: 200 bikes and 5 tractors from Notre-Dame-des-Landes (planned airport site) set off for the Paris climate talks

A convoy of 200 bicycles and five tractors has left Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) going to Paris  for the COP21 talks, to demand the abandonment of the proposed new Nantes airport.  The protesters, most wearing yellow vests proclaiming “No Airport” straddled their bikes in mid morning for a “tracto-vélo” that should arrive in Paris on November 28, two days before the opening of the international climate conference. They will “denounce the blatant hypocrisy between the will of the government to fight against global warming and the destruction of more than 1,600 hectares of farmland and wetlands in order to build a new airport.” During the week the convoy entitled “Cap sur la COP” will make the trip in stages of 40-70 km, and its stop in various towns and cities, to stay with local supporters and hold meetings and discussions with their many local support committees, that oppose the planned new airport. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, the organisers had been unsure about proceeding, but say they will not confront the police in any way, and are just attending in order to put across their message. The convoy plans to meet up with other convoys outside Paris before the COP.  Though the convoy is mainly cyclists, there will be some vehicles to transport people who can not make a long journey by bike, and for logistics.

Short briefing on the planned Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport

The group against the new airport, ACIPA, has put together a concise document, setting out 10 key reasons why no new airport is needed at Nantes.  It is in French, but quite easy to read the main headings.  “Nantes-Atlantique 10 vérités qui dérangent”
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NDDL traco velo COP21

 

COP21: 200 bicycles leave from Notre-Dame-des-Landes to cycle to the talks in Paris

21.11.2015 (Le Parisien)

An AFP (Agence France Presse) journalist reports that a convoy of 200 bicycles and five tractors left on Saturday morning from Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) heading for Paris to demand “abandonment” of the proposed new Nantes airport, on the occasion of COP21.

NDDL COP21

The protesters, most wearing a helmet and armed with yellow vests proclaiming “No Airport” straddled their bikes in mid morning for a “tractor-bike” that should lead them to the gates Paris November 28, two days before the opening of the international climate conference.

They will “denounce the blatant hypocrisy between the will of the government to fight against global warming and the destruction of more than 1,600 hectares of farmland and wetlands in order to build a new airport, “the organizers explained. They are the occupants of the” Zad “- the “area to defend”- and associations opposed to the airport.

During this week, the convoy entitled “Down to the COP” (“Cap sur la COP”) will make the trip in several stages of 40-70 km, and its members will participate in Angers, Le Mans or in Chartres in discussions with local support committees. Demonstrators will be “staying with local hosts,” said “Camille”, generic name that will give the opponents.

After the attacks of November 13 and the proclamation of a state of emergency, “we were not entirely sure about leaving but this convoy has been prepared for months and what happens on the Zad brings hope to many people,” he
said.

“We are going because we had reasons to organize this convoy still remain the same. The COP21 will be held, we have no reason not to go. And regarding the airport project, it may be delayed, but it is not abandoned. And what we want is for it to be abandoned,” added Genevieve Coiffard, a longtime opponent of the airport project.

For Philippe, another participant, with the ban on demonstrations taken by the Government, there is “no question of going to confront the police, but to carry a message.”

Opponents of the airport should meet up with other convoys on 27 November in Saclay (Essonne) including those from Bure and Roybon, where are created “Zad” before organizing the next “great banquet” at the gates of Paris.

The airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, about twenty kilometers north of Nantes, was originally scheduled to open in 2017.

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Original French below:

COP21: départ de 200 bicyclettes de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à destination de Paris

21 Nov. 2015

Un convoi de 200 bicyclettes et cinq tracteurs est parti samedi matin de Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) à destination de Paris pour réclamer “l’abandon” du projet de nouvel aéroport nantais, à l’occasion de la COP21, a constaté une journaliste de l’AFP.

Les manifestants, coiffés pour la plupart d’un casque et munis de gilets jaunes proclamant “Aéroport non”, ont enfourché leurs bicyclettes en milieu de matinée pour une “tracto-vélo” qui doit les mener aux portes de Paris le 28 novembre, deux jours avant l’ouverture de la conférence internationale sur le climat.

Ils entendent y “dénoncer l’hypocrisie criante entre la volonté du gouvernement de lutter contre le réchauffement climatique et la destruction de plus de 1.600 hectares de terres agricoles et de zones humides pour y construire un nouvel aéroport”, ont expliqué les organisateurs, des occupants de la “Zad” – la “zone à défendre” – et des associations opposées à l’aéroport.

Pendant cette semaine, le convoi intitulé “Cap sur la COP” fera plusieurs étapes de 40 à 70 km, et ses membres participeront à Angers, au Mans ou encore à Chartres à des débats avec des comités locaux de soutien. Les manifestants seront “logés chez l’habitant”, a indiqué “Camille”, nom générique que se donnent les opposants.

Après les attentats du 13 novembre et la proclamation de l’état d’urgence, “on n’était pas tout à fait certain de partir mais ce convoi est préparé depuis des mois et ce qui se passe sur la Zad est porteur d’espoir pour beaucoup de gens”, a-t-il affirmé.

“On part parce que les raisons qu’on avait d’organiser ce convoi sont intactes. La COP21 va se tenir, nous n’avons aucune raison de ne pas partir. Et en ce qui concerne le projet d’aéroport, il est peut-être retardé, mais il n’est pas abandonné. Et nous ce qu’on demande, c’est l’abandon”, a renchéri Geneviève Coiffard, opposante de longue date au projet d’aéroport.

Pour Philippe, un autre participant, avec l’interdiction de manifester prise par le gouvernement, il n’est “pas question d’aller affronter la police, mais de porter un message”.
Les opposants à l’aéroport doivent rejoindre le 27 novembre à Saclay (Essonne) d’autres convois venus notamment de Bure et de Roybon, où se sont créées des “Zad”, avant d’organiser le lendemain “un grand banquet” aux portes de Paris.

L’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, à une vingtaine de kilomètres au nord de Nantes, devait initialement être inauguré en 2017.

http://www.europe1.fr/societe/cop21-depart-de-200-bicyclettes-de-notre-dame-des-landes-a-destination-de-paris-2623937

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COP 21 – Convoi “tracto-vélo” de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à Paris

Un convoi en vélos et tracteurs du 21 au 28 novembre s’organise pour se rendre de Notre-Dame-des-Landes à Paris à l’occasion du sommet intergouvernemental.

L’Assemblée d’organisation du convoi a mis en place le trajet suivant :

  • Samedi 21 novembre : Nddl – Ancenis : 47 km
  • Dimanche 22 novembre : Ancenis – Angers : 60 km
  • Lundi 23 novembre : Angers – La Flèche : 50 km
  • Mardi 24 novembre : La Flèche – Le Mans : 45 km
  • Mercredi 25 novembre : Le Mans – Nogent le Rotrou : 66 km
  • Jeudi 26 novembre : Nogent le Rotrou – Chartres : 57 km
  • Vendredi 27 novembre : Chartres – Saclay : 71 km
  • Samedi 28 novembre : Saclay – Paris 20km (dernière étape commune avec d’autres convois et personnes venues en car)

Le convoi sera essentiellement constitué de cyclistes. Des tracteurs et quelques véhicules transporteront les personnes ne pouvant pas faire un long trajet à vélo, ainsi que la logistique.

Une caisse prix libre sera mise à disposition (un coût estimé à 10 € par jour et par personne : nourriture, hébergements etc.)

Pour un soutien financier, envoyez un mail sur mslcnddl@riseup.net avec en objet : soutien financier

Le parcours sera marqué par des discussions, échanges, repas solidaires entre les participant-e-s et les personnes et groupes les accueillant, mais aussi rencontres, communication au fil du chemin.

Suivant les étapes, les équipes Solidaires plus particulièrement sollicitées sont celles des départements 44, 49, 72, 28 91 et 75.

http://www.solidaires.org/COP-21-Convoi-tracto-velo-de-Notre-Dame-des-Landes-a-Paris

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Large variation found in airlines’ CO2 emissions due to engine efficiency and proportion of premium passengers

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Large variation found in airlines’ CO2 emissions

Lufthansa and BA two thirds as fuel efficient as Norwegian Air Shuttle, says report by group that exposed VW emissions-rigging scandal

Pollution from a non-stop transatlantic round trip averages around one tonne of CO2 per passenger, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) research [not yet published?] found – the same as would be clocked up in a year by commuting 22 miles to work daily in a Toyota Prius.  

[Prius does about 48 – 50 mpg. That’s about 110 grams CO2/km.  For new cars in the UK, a manufacturer’s average fleet must meet 130g CO2/km by 2015 Link Therefore, many cars on the road are much less efficient that the Prius – meaning it is the equivalent of less than 22 miles per day.  AW note].

Separately, a leaked European parliament study seen by the Guardian has forecast that the aviation and shipping industries will make up 39% of global CO2 emissions by 2050, based on present trends.

The ICCT report said a typical passenger on Norwegian Air Shuttle travelled 40km per litre of fuel (113 mpg) , while flyers on British Airways and Lufthansa travelled only 27km. (76 mpg)

Dan Rutherford, an author of the report, said: “Eighty per cent of the difference can be explained by two factors: seating configurations – how much premium, business and first-class seating you have – and the fuel burn of an aircraft, or how efficient it is. Norwegian Air Shuttle has invested more in newer, more fuel-efficient planes, while BA is using older, predominantly 747 aircraft.”

First-class and business passengers accounted for a disproportionate amount of the pollution. Premium passengers were responsible for 14% of available seat kilometres flown on transatlantic routes, but they accounted for around one-third of total carbon emissions, the paper found.

Other poor performers in the study included United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines, who scored barely above BA and Lufthansa. At the other end of the table, Air Berlin, KLM and Aer Lingus averaged 36km per litre of fuel.

Rutherford said the results, which will be filed with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), showed a deterioration from last year’s rankings, which revealed a 25% difference between best and worst performers.

“There is a large and underestimated potential for in-sector CO2 emission reductions,” the report states. “This highlights the role for additional policies to limit aviation emissions, notably the CO2 standard being developed by the Icao and a global market-based measure to price aviation carbon.”

International airlines and shipping companies are not currently obliged to cut their CO2 output.

An attempt to include aviation in the EU’s emissions trading system was defeated two years ago. Icao says it will try for carbon neutral growth after 2020, but expects no new policies before an assembly in November 2016.

The projections in the leaked European parliament study suggest that aviation and shipping will continue to increase their share of global emissions. It predicts that by 2050 aviation will account for 22% of the total, and shipping 17%.

“Clearly this would derail the efforts in Paris to stay within two degrees’ warming,” said Sotiris Raptis, a shipping policy officer at Transport & Environment. “Any deal in Paris must lead to an emissions reduction target for aviation and shipping, like all other sectors of the global economy.”

Airline emissions are currently responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming, and the shipping industry around half that, and both figures are growing fast. Globally, aircraft emitted about 700m metric tonnes of CO2 in 2013, and without policy intervention that figure is expected to triple by 2050.

The issue will be discussed at the Paris climate summit, after an attempt to remove it from the draft text was blocked.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/16/large-variation-found-in-airlines-co2-emissions?CMP=share_btn_tw

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