Heathrow 2.0: a ‘sustainable airport’ that pretends no one has to choose between planes and pollution

A thoughtful article, by two leading academics in public policy and ideology, casts huge doubts on the claims of Heathrow to have solutions to the increased environment problems of a 3rd runway. It is well worth reading it all. A few extracts:  “Heathrow expansion has become an emblematic issue in the fight against climate change … An airport that exists above politics gives the illusion that no one has to choose between planes and pollution … its “cake and eat it” narrative, in which we could fly more and still cope with rising CO2 … the plans lack clarity and ambition. Strategic priorities like a ‘noise envelope’ … are often stated, but not accompanied with clear targets … As Heathrow itself accepts, the airport cannot deliver on most of the claims it makes …The airport is simply trying to fill the void left by Theresa May and Chris Grayling, who have abandoned their responsibility to offer policy leadership … this absence of leadership betrays the emergence of a new “post-sustainable” aviation, designed to accommodate the challenges of Brexit … people are increasingly urged to believe that human progress and innovation are enough to meet environmental challenges. … In this emerging discourse, the demands of economic growth trump those of the environment and social well-being.”
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Heathrow 2.0: a ‘sustainable airport’ that pretends no one has to choose between planes and pollution

Both the government and an independent Airports Commission have backed proposals to construct a new third runway at London’s largest airport hub. But the plans remain highly contested, with ongoing concerns about noise pollution, air quality and rising carbon emissions. Heathrow expansion has become an emblematic issue in the fight against climate change.

At first glance, it is tempting to dismiss the launch of Heathrow 2.0 as yet another attempt at greenwashing.

Indeed, those in favour of the new runway have made sustained efforts to depoliticise the issue ever since the 2010-2015 coalition government declared its ambition to put the environment and local well-being ahead of Heathrow’s growth. An airport that exists above politics gives the illusion that no one has to choose between planes and pollution.

In fact, the current plans to render its new runway carbon neutral echo the failed policy of “sustainable aviation” under the New Labour government. This strategy was quickly discredited by scientists and environmentalists, because of its “cake and eat it” narrative, in which we could fly more and still cope with rising carbon emissions.

Nonetheless, such arguments pepper Heathrow’s new vision for corporate social responsibility. Much is made of the expected benefits of new technologies and innovations, the role of increased connectivity in creating jobs, the enjoyment we gain from the social benefits of flying, and the commitment to carbon offsetting schemes to address rising emissions.

Heathrow 2.0 even aspires to “‘decouple’ aviation growth from climate change” – a key pillar of the ideology of sustainable aviation.

Yet Heathrow’s strategy at least engages with the idea of sustainable development, through what it calls “responsibility”. It promises to improve its practices as an employer, committing to a London Living Wage, and it pledges to put an end to human and wildlife trafficking. It wants to produce a “zero-carbon airport” with reduced emissions and “polluter pays” policies. Heathrow 2.0 might even satisfy local demands for better noise protection.

But it’s the detail that really matters. In important respects, the plans lack clarity and ambition. Strategic priorities like a “noise envelope” to cap the overall disturbance emanating from the airport are often stated, but not accompanied with clear targets.

Similarly, it is questionable whether locals will be too enthusiastic about targets to reduce late running aircraft after 11.30pm from 330 in 2016 to 270 in 2017. Or whether they will welcome no arrivals before 4.30am without clarity over the agreement to ban night flights from 11pm to 6am.

Where is the government?

As Heathrow itself accepts, importantly, the airport cannot deliver on most of the claims it makes. Of course, a carbon neutral airport is a worthy ideal. But it is the flights themselves that cause most carbon emissions and account for much of the noise pollution, while traffic to and from the airport also creates air pollution. Heathrow cannot control or make guarantees about fixing any of this.

Indeed, at the heart of these limits to Heathrow 2.0 is the failure of the May government. The airport is simply trying to fill the void left by Theresa May and transport secretary Chris Grayling, who have abandoned their responsibility to offer policy leadership in this field.

A recent Heathrow report by MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee criticised the government for its lax interpretation of air quality directives, its failure to address local health impacts, its overly ambitious targets for ultra-low emission vehicles, and its absence of detailed plans for road improvements and new rail access to the airport.

The committee also criticised the government for watering down proposals for an independent aviation noise authority and for not being clear about how to bridge the gap between theoretical models to reduce emissions and actual policy.

Most concerning is that this absence of leadership betrays the emergence of a new “post-sustainable” aviation, designed to accommodate the challenges of Brexit.

Gone are the attempts by the previous government to put climate change before new airports. In their place, the vital justifications and mechanisms for an expansionist agenda are carefully being assembled.

The risk is that green concerns will be pushed further to the margins, as people are increasingly urged to believe that human progress and innovation are enough to meet environmental challenges.

In this emerging discourse, the demands of economic growth trump those of the environment and social well-being.

https://theconversation.com/heathrow-2-0-a-sustainable-airport-that-pretends-no-one-has-to-choose-between-planes-and-pollution-74206


 

Disclosure statement

David Howarth receives funding from the ESRC.

Steven Griggs receives funding from Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).

Partners

University of Essex provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.

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The challenge of tackling the non-CO2 impacts of aviation – explained by Carbon Brief

In a long, but very informative article, Carbon Brief discusses the problems of the non-CO2 impacts of aircraft emissions. These are from water vapour, aerosols and nitrogen oxides emitted by aircraft at cruise altitudes. Though these impacts may be short lived, they have definite climate forcing effects, though these are complicated, while CO2 has easily understood impacts and lasts in the atmosphere for decades or centuries. The impact of contrails forming cirrus cloud is to slow the radiation of heat back into space, causing more warming. But this effect is greatest at night, when contrails persist, and also in areas where there is colder, damper air. So the impacts are not uniform across the globe. The article discusses possibilities of planes avoiding certain areas where contrails persist, either on a daily basis or with blocks of airspace out of use for particular periods. Or of planes flying less high. Both those options are likely to increase fuel use – and thus CO2 emissions – by planes, and so need to be carefully organised, to avoid having yet more overall climate impact. Even if the ICAO deal requires planes to pay a small amount to “offset” their CO2, they are not required to pay for non-CO2 impacts.  With the global aviation industry expected to increase its CO2 emissions by 200%-360% by 2050, the non-CO2 impacts are a very real problem, and one that should not be ignored.  Small changes to flight routes are unlikely to make more than a token difference.
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Explainer: The challenge of tackling aviation’s non-CO2 emissions

15.3.2017 (Carbon Brief – Explainers)

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Last October, the 191 member states of the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed to a new deal to cap international aviation emissions using a carbon offset approach.

Despite relief from some quarters that this long-awaited deal – which aims to cap growth in aviation emissions at 2020 levels – had finally been achieved, there is still a long way to go before the problem of fast-rising aviation emissions is solved.

First, the offsetting nature of the ICAO scheme means countries still need to translate exactly how a deal – which doesn’t actually stop aircraft emitting more CO2 and only begins in four years – will be able to align itself with the limits in global temperature rise set out in the Paris Agreement.

Second, there is another rather ominous hole in the efforts to tackle flight emissions which remains all but completely neglected.

The new ICAO deal only addresses CO2 emissions, ignoring other emissions from planes which research has shown could result in warming several times greater than for CO2 alone.

Carbon Brief takes a look at the impact of these non-CO2 emissions and examines new research setting out how they could be limited.

Non-CO2 emissions

Globally, aviation is responsible for around 2% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but its impact is projected to rise by 200%-360% by 2050, even when the maximum use of lower-carbon alternative fuels is factored in.

This is a significant problem. For example, Carbon Brief analysis has shown the sector could claim as much as two-thirds of the UK’s carbon budget for 1.5C by 2050.

Significantly, these calculations don’t take into account the radiative forcing – the impact on the overall energy balance of the planet – caused by non-CO2 warming pollutants, such as water vapour, aerosols and nitrogen oxides.

The impacts of non-CO2 aircraft emissions at high altitudes came to prominence back in 1999 following publication of a special report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on aviation. This estimated the total historic impact of aviation on the climate to have been two to four times higher than for CO2 emissions alone.

But while it has been well established for more than a decade that air traffic affects the climate through emissions other than just CO2, putting a number on the overall effect of these emissions has proven tricky.

In particular, the contribution of aircraft emissions to the formation of additional cirrus clouds – thin and wispy high-level clouds which can be formed by aircraft contrails – has proven extremely difficult to pin down. While it is known these clouds can trap thermal radiation – research has indicated their impact on global warming could dwarf that of CO2 from aviation – the mechanisms remaining poorly understood.

Estimates for radiative forcing from global aviation in 2005. The induced cloudiness (AIC) estimate includes linear contrails. Error bars represent the 90% likelihood range for each estimate. The level of scientific understanding (LOSU) is shown on the right. Source: CCC (2009), reproduced from Lee et al. (2009)   See link for the table.

Most of the impact of these non-CO2 emissions comes from the “cruise phase” of a flight when the plane is at high altitudes. Importantly, though, this impact depends largely on atmospheric conditions, such as temperature and the background concentrations of water vapour and nitrogen oxides.

Contrails, for example, form when water vapour condenses on aerosol emissions. They are thought to have a significant warming effect. But, typically, they only last a few seconds in specific conditions of coldness and humidity.

Reducing impacts

In its 1999 special report on aviation, the IPCC set out four broad areas where greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced from flights:

– technological improvements, such as lightweighting;

– changes to (or replacements for) jet fuel;

– operational changes;

– and regulatory or economic options.

Even for CO2 alone there is a struggle to use these measures to limit aviation’s impact enough to meet targets without reducing the number of flights. But reducing the potentially larger non-CO2 warming impacts could be even more complex.

This is because the short atmospheric “lifetime” of many of these pollutants make their climate impact highly dependent on the location, season and time of day of emissions – unlike CO2 emissions, which spread out over the globe during their lifetime of centuries or more.

However, the short lifetime of non-CO2 emissions also means changes in operational procedures, such as air traffic management, could reduce their impact more than for CO2 emissions.

How do aircraft emissions lead to climate change?

For example, some researchers have argued that simply optimising flight routes to minimise the time spent in highly sensitive atmospheric areas could have a big impact. This could include changing the altitude or position of a flight to avoid colder pockets of air, especially at times of day or during seasons when the emissions will have the highest impact.

A Nature study published in 2006 found that night-time flying accounts for 60%-80% of all contrail forcing from planes, despite accounting for just a quarter of flights. This is because while contrails trap warming infrared energy during both day and night, this is offset somewhat during the day by a cooling effect as they reflect sunlight back into space.

The study also found winter flights have a far bigger overall warming effect than those taken during the rest of the year, since contrails are more likely to form when it is cold.

Therefore, adjusting the times and seasons when flights are taken could cut their non-CO2 impact significantly.

Another study, published in 2014, suggested lowering the altitude of aircraft by around 2,000 feet (610 metres) could reduce the radiative forcing from emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by two-fifths. [But aircraft engines work less efficiently -using more fuel – at lower altitudes. AW comment]

A further study published the same year found re-routing flights to avoid climatic regions which are particularly sensitive to the effects of non-CO2 emissions could lower their climate impact by a quarter, at a cost increase of just 0.5%.  [ie. flying a slightly longer route, using slightly more fuel. AW comment]

Problem with rerouting

Altering flight trajectories to limit climate impacts presents some significant challenges.

For example, at a time when government policy and airspace regulators are already working to free up more airspace capacity, rerouting would instead create a new source of congestion.

The possibilities for designing altered routes could be hindered by air traffic service routes and national airspace boundaries.

Procedures to ensure there is enough space between planes could also force planned climate-friendly trajectories to be changed. And there remain significant barriers to providing the required accuracy in predictions of wind, temperature and weather predictions.

Meanwhile, the new routes would have to be carefully balanced to ensure the resulting reduction in radiative forcing from non-CO2 emissions is not offset by the increased CO2 emissions of flying longer routes.

In addition, these longer routes would mean a bigger fuel cost for airlines, which currently don’t pay any penalty for their non-CO2 emissions.

New approaches

Nevertheless, work is ongoing to scope out ways in which non-CO2 impacts could be reduced.

A new paper released last month proposed an alternative form of flight rerouting using a regulatory approach to overcome some of the barriers.

Rather than optimising routes of individual aircraft, it proposes restricting planes from flying in whole regions of airspace. The system would force aircraft to fly around regions where non-CO2 emissions would have a large impact on radiative forcing.

The proposal would see a threshold value of climate costs set by policymakers, with airspaces which passed this value being closed until they had slipped below it again.

The paper argues this option, which could see airspaces closed for hours, days or even months in a situation akin to military restricted airspace, could be easily implemented by air traffic controllers and could be used as an interim solution to longer term proposals to cut non-CO2 emissions from air travel.

It finds the climate impact of flights could be cut by 12% at no extra cost to operators using such an approach. However, larger route changes could increase fuel costs and CO2 emissions, though still resulting in less forcing overall.

Malte Niklass, a researcher at the German Aerospace Center and lead author of the paper, says these so-called “climate restricted airspaces” would overcome the issue of aircraft operators often having little incentives to bear the additional costs of rerouting.

He adds that a similar market-based approach could create “climate charged airspaces”, where the highly climate sensitive regions are not fully cut off but levied with an environmental unit charge to encourage planes to fly around them.

However, responding to the paper, Cait Hewitt, deputy director of the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF), highlights the barriers that such a scheme would face, including the significant coordination of airspace management it would need among states – something she says has been surprisingly hard to achieve, even for more straightforward changes that would improve airspace efficiency. Such schemes could create a new source of congestion in lower airspace, she adds.

Meanwhile, setting a threshold for when a no-fly zone is switched on would need agreement from policymakers. For example, when should minimising non-CO2 emissions take precedence over minimising CO2 through more direct routing? “That’s unlikely to come any time soon,” she says.

Niklass himself admits there are significant challenges to such a scheme, including the ability to predict climate sensitive regions with a reasonable accuracy and the political decision on what the threshold should be. In the paper, he suggests the scheme could be applied to only the most ecologically harmful trajectories.

However, others argue there remains merit in researching ways to minimise non-CO2 emissions. Responding to the new paper, Tim Johnson, director of the AEF, says the scientific community should be “applauded for reminding us of the importance” of non-CO2 effects at a time when policymakers are focused solely on carbon emissions.

He tells Carbon Brief:   “We need effective policies that tackle the total climate impact and not just CO2. These additional effects need to be included in our climate goals and accounting.”

A related paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters (ERL) earlier this month found airlines could reduce their climate impact by up to 10% simply by making small changes to flight routes at a cost increase of just 1%.

Keith Shine, professor of meteorology and climate science at the University of Reading and co-author of the new ERL paper, said, with more targeted research, such adjustment could become a reality in the next 10 years. “Climate-friendly routing of aircraft has an exciting potential to decrease the climate impact of aviation, without the need for costly redesign of aircraft, their engines, and airports,” he said.

Regulatory pipe-dream?

Despite this research, the prospect of policymakers tackling non-CO2 emissions any time soon remains slim, especially considering the difficulty in pinning down the precise magnitude of their impact. If anything, it seems to have slipped down the “to do” list since the 1999 IPCC report first put them in the limelight.

In the UK, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which is the government’s official climate advisory body, has recommended aviation CO2 emissions be limited to around 2005 levels by 2050.  But it has refrained so far from recommending any limit be set for non-CO2 emissions, noting in a 2009 report on aviation the “considerable scientific uncertainty” over their precise magnitude.

However, the report also noted a “likely need” to account for these effects in future global and UK policy frameworks, acknowledging this could have implications for the appropriate long-term UK aviation target.

There remains much debate over how these effects could even be accounted for. Several different metrics have been proposed to factor in the impact of non-CO2 effects compared to CO2 alone. The “radiative forcing index” (RFI), for example, reflects the ratio of total radiative forcing to date for aviation compared to just CO2 emissions alone.

However, these ratios remain hard to define due to the uncertainty in overall forcing of non-CO2 emissions. Meanwhile many argue using the RFI as a simple multiplier underplays the significance of CO2 since it doesn’t account for its longer lifetime compared to other emissions.

 

While the government’s guidelines for company greenhouse gas reporting recommends an emissions multiplier for all aviation effects (similar to a radiative forcing index) of 1.9 times the effects of CO2 alone, the government has so far avoided factoring it into any of its own policy.

When the House of Commons environmental audit committee (EAC) last year asked Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, whether the government’s upcoming aviation strategy would examine greenhouse gases other than CO2, he said there was “no clear scientific bases” to look at non-CO2 emissions, although argued they would still be reduced by efforts to reduce CO2.

While NOx levies are charged by some countries in selected airports around the world – including Heathrow in the UK – there are currently no regulations for non-CO2 emissions at the cruise phase of flights, when they cause more impact.

During negotiations over aviation’s inclusion in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) in 2007 and 2008, MEPs in the European Parliament argued for the inclusion of a two-times emissions multiplier for NOx emissions.

Airlines, such as British Airways, lobbied against such multipliers, saying they were a “mis-application of science” since they failed to account for the lifetimes of different emissions. AEF’s Johnson explains the outcome:

“Member states disagreed with this proposed amendment, but, as a compromise, the [European] Commission agreed to undertake a feasibility study to introduce an en-route NOx charge in parallel. The proposal was not taken any further and the EU ETS continues to cover CO2 emissions only.”

The EU is already struggling to fully incorporate aviation’s CO2 emissions.

Conclusion

The amount that non-CO2 emissions contribute to warming can vary significantly depending on the conditions where they are emitted, while their mechanisms are not well understood. This means their impact has proven difficult to pin down, though research shows it is likely to be significant.

Research setting out potential means of tackling these emissions can seem high unlikely in the current policy climate. However, it can also act as a pertinent reminder that non-CO2 emissions are difficult to ignore in a world attempting to fulfill its collective commitment, agreed in Paris in late 2015, to limit temperature rise to “well below” 2C.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-challenge-tackling-aviations-non-co2-emissions?utm_source=Daily+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=2016c9ce4d-cb_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-2016c9ce4d-303444825

 

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“Heathrow 2.0” glossy report attempts to portray a 3-runway airport as “green” and aiming to be “carbon neutral”…..

Heathrow has regularly produced annual sustainability reports (they do not seem to be on its website any longer). The report from 2014 is here. Now, in an a serious attempt to be seen as a truly “environmentally friendly” airport they have produced a glossy report called “Heathrow 2.0” which endeavours to show that – with 50% more flights, producing nearly 50% more CO2 emissions, is a shining example of environmental leadership for us all. Some ex-environmental campaigners helped Heathrow put the report together. While it is hugely to be welcomed that Heathrow will try to have as low an environmental footprint as possible, within the airport itself – the problem is confusing that with the immense environmental impact the airport has outside its perimeter. The report has nothing much to say on that, other than offsetting schemes of one sort or another. The airport hopes to become “carbon neutral” but that is only by offsetting – effectively buying the emissions reductions of others. Heathrow wants to be seen to be “green” by helping to fund some peat-bog restoration, and buying renewable energy.  It aims to do a bit more on preventing illegal trafficking of wildlife through its air freight etc etc et.  All laudable stuff. But there is no reason why Heathrow needs to have another runway, in order to do all these good environmental things that it could perfectly well be doing (should be doing) as a 2 runway airport.  Check the report for high level greenwash ….
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[Time and energy prevent, so far, taking the  report apart, item by item.  It is a long report – but its actual content, of real actions to make an effective difference, is very thin. AW comment]

Heathrow promises to clear green aviation R&D incubator for take-off

28.2.2017 (Business Green)

By James Murray

Credit: HeathrowAirport unveils wide-ranging new sustainability strategy, vowing to switch to 100 per cent renewable power and improve local air quality
Under fire from environmentalists over its controversial expansion plans, Heathrow has today unveiled a wide-ranging new sustainability strategy designed to make it one of the world’s greenest airports.

Dubbed Heathrow 2.0, the new strategy pulls together a host of initiatives, including plans to step up R&D investment in low carbon aviation technologies, reduce the environmental impact of its operations, and enhance air quality around the airport.

Specifically, the airport announced it has invested an initial £500,000 in a new R&D incubator tasked with identifying ways to minimise noise and carbon emissions from flights.

“Heathrow will consult leading experts to identify participants from the aviation industry, academia and business,” the company said. “By the end of the year, more funding sources will also be identified so that the incubator opens its doors in 2019.”

In a further bid to encourage airlines to switch to more efficient modern fleets, the strategy includes proposals for a ‘Fly Quiet and Clean’ league table, which will publicly rank airlines according to their noise and emissions.

Heathrow also pledged to become the latest high profile firm to switch to 100 per cent renewable power, vowing to only source electricity from renewable sources from the end of the this year as part of a wider emission reduction plan designed to ensure the planned new runway is “carbon neutral”.

In addition, the plan includes proposals to establish an “airside ultra-low emission zone” by 2025, designed to reduce air pollution in the area, and sets a new target to ensure half of passengers travel using public or sustainable transport.

Unveiling the new plan at the British Chamber of Commerce conference, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the strategy represented “a step-change for our business, and accelerates the shift in our industry towards a sustainable future for aviation”.

“By focusing on the long-term, and through working together, we can deliver a world-leading economy – innovative, competitive, successful and sustainable,” he said. “And we can create a future where our business, our people, our communities, our country and our world, can all thrive.”

The plan comes as airports and airlines face mounting pressure to develop lower carbon aviation technologies, following an international agreement last year that aims to cap emissions from the sector from 2020 and introduce a new offset scheme during the 2020s that should effectively impose a carbon price on aviation emissions.

However, many environmental groups have argued the new international deal is not ambitious enough and Heathrow is continuing to face significant opposition over its plans to build a third runway, with campaigners voicing scepticism the project is compatible with the UK’s carbon budgets.

Last week the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs accused the government of not doing enough to demonstrate how Heathrow expansion is in line with emissions obligations and accused ministers of preparing to “water down the limits on aviation emissions recommended by its own climate change advisers”.

However, the airport has consistently argued that improvements in technology will allow it to expand the airport while complying with the UK’s Climate Change Act and air quality rules.

RELATED ARTICLES

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3005561/heathrow-promises-to-clear-green-aviation-r-d-incubator-for-take-off

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Heathrow aims to make third runway carbon neutral

Exclusive: Plan also targets local air and noise pollution but critics say long-term solutions to environmental challenges are no closer to reality

By  (Guardian)

The huge growth in flights from Heathrow’s planned new runway could be carbon neutral, according to an ambition revealed by the airport.

The 260,000 extra flights a year anticipated from the third runway would make the airport the UK’s largest source of carbon emissions. But Heathrow’s new sustainability plan suggests other ways to offset the leap in emissions, including by restoring British peat bogs.

The new plan, called Heathrow 2.0, sets a wide range of targets to tackle carbon emissions, illegal levels of local air pollution, and noise. The airport will use 100% renewable electricity from April and aim to get 35,000 more people a day using public transport rather than arriving in cars by 2030 and double that by 2040.

The third runway, now backed by the government, is highly controversial, with critics arguing it could dash hopes of meeting the UK’s climate change targets and solving local air pollution problems. About 95% of Heathrow’s carbon emissions come from aircraft, but aviation is one of the toughest sectors in which to cut carbon, as the electric batteries than can power cars are too heavy for planes.

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow, said: “We are not doing this to convince somebody that we are anything we aren’t. We are setting out what we are going to do and people can judge us by our actions. We are going to play our part in the challenge of climate change.”

The plan sets out firm short-term targets, including removing the last 5% of flights made by the most polluting aircraft by 2020 and cutting the number of late-running flights arriving in the middle of the night – currently about one a day – by half this year.

The aspiration to make growth from the new runway carbon-neutral relies significantly on the global aviation deal agreed in October to offset most new emissions after 2020. The most novel aspect of Heathrow’s new plan to explore the restoration of peatlands in the UK to offset carbon, which would be “a very British solution”, said Holland-Kaye.

Peatlands cover 12% of the UK but 80% are in poor condition. “The opportunity is absolutely massive,” said the environmentalist Tony Juniper, who was a paid consultant on Heathrow’s new plan. “The vast majority of peatlands are degraded and it is releasing billions of tonnes of carbon over decades.” He said restoration would also benefit flood prevention and wildlife.

Holland-Kaye said it was vital to also set out longer term plans even if it was unclear as yet how to achieve them: “There are some really challenging aspirations around carbon, and even if we don’t get all the way there, every tonne of carbon we are able to prevent going into the atmosphere is a tonne less that our children have to deal with.”

Andrew Pendleton of Friends of the Earth said: “We have to say, that if you look at this coldly, it makes Heathrow one of the most progressive airports in the world. But there is a jumbo-jet sized elephant in the room – a new runway that would see 260,000 extra flights a year, and that comes at a significant environmental price.”

“It is deeply irresponsible of the government to sign off on this expansion on the assumption that something will come along” to solve the challenges, he said. A cross-party committee of MPs recently accused the government of “magical thinking” over the future solutions to Heathrow’s environmental challenges.

Tim Johnson of the Aviation Environment Federation said: “The plan aspires to a cleaner and quieter future but its detail is largely concerned with short-term, incremental improvements that are not up to the challenges that would come with runway expansion. There is nothing in this report to suggest that we are any closer to finding effective solutions.”

“If you have a plan and you really focus on it, you can make a significant change in people’s behaviour,” he said. “The great thing about the VW scandal is that the government is now taking [air pollution] seriously, because they are the ones who can have the most influence. Once the will of government gets behind these things, big things can happen relatively quickly.”

The new runway would open by 2025 at the earliest, and Holland-Kaye said the new HS2 train line and possible new rail links to the west and south could be a “gamechanger”.

Heathrow is planning to increase the number of short-haul flights within the UK, and will discount their landing fees this year. Critics say such flights should be replaced by rail travel but Holland-Kaye said they were important in helping all regions of the UK to grow. “Unless we have an economy which pays for a shift to being low-carbon, we are not going to make that shift,” he said.

The Heathrow plan is “bold and brave”, according to Juniper: “The difference here is the extent to which they have really embraced the challenge rather than trying to avoid taking responsibility.” Asked if fast-growing aviation can ever be sustainable, he said: “It is going to have to be” because stopping more people flying “is not going to happen”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/28/heathrow-aims-make-third-runway-carbon-neutral?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

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Prince’s green guru is paid to help Heathrow

By Ben Webster, Environment Editor (The Times)

March 2 2017

The Prince of Wales’s green adviser has been accused of hypocrisy over being paid to help Heathrow to justify building a third runway after spending years opposing it.

Tony Juniper, 56, who co-authored the recent Ladybird book on climate change with the prince, advised Heathrow on a “sustainability strategy”, which seeks to justify the airport’s expansion.

Mr Juniper campaigned against the expansion of Heathrow when he was director of Friends of the Earth, which he left in 2008 shortly before becoming special adviser to the prince on environment projects.

He supported activists who blockaded airports in protest over the impact of flights on climate change. He also accused Gordon Brown of hypocrisy when he was prime minister for supporting action on climate change while backing a third runway at Heathrow.

Mr Juniper began advising Heathrow 18 months ago via Robertsbridge, the sustainability consultancy that he co-founded with Charles Secrett, also a former director of Friends of the Earth, and Peter Ainsworth, a former Conservative MP.

Mr Juniper’s key idea to help to justify the third runway’s 260,000 extra flights a year is “carbon offsetting”, which allows emissions to rise if an equivalent amount is prevented elsewhere.

Heathrow is holding talks with conservation groups about paying to protect a British peat bog which, it is claimed, might otherwise dry out and release vast amounts of carbon.

Jeff Gazzard, co-ordinator of the GreenSkies Alliance, which opposes airport expansion, said: “Tony Juniper has given his name to world-class greenwash. It’s massively inconsistent and he must have known he was going to get labelled a hypocrite.

“He has turned himself from a figure of admiration to the Neville Chamberlain of corporate social responsibility.”

John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, which campaigns against the third runway, said: “This appears very inconsistent with the previous very public stance Tony Juniper took in opposing a third runway.”

Mr Juniper said that he believed the third runway could be built sustainably but denied that this contradicted his previous stance. 

He said he had adopted a “parallel and equally credible position . . . that if society is going to say we are going to accommodate growth rather than to try and block it then the best possible thing you can do is to try to ensure it is as sustainable as possible”.

He added: “I’m agnostic on a third runway at Heathrow but I would say we have a growing demand for aviation and we need to be able to deal with that through a number of different approaches.”

Heathrow’s strategy pledges to make the new runway “carbon neutral”. Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s director of sustainability, said that carbon neutral expansion was an “aspiration” rather than a commitment. He declined to say how much Heathrow would be investing in the peat bog project but said it would be a “meaningful contribution”. He declined to say how much Mr Juniper and Robertsbridge had been paid.

 

Profile

Tony Juniper made his name in the environmental movement by travelling to Brazil in 1990 and discovering the last surviving wild Spix’s macaws.

That same year he joined Friends of the Earth (FoE) and worked his way up to be director.

He successfully campaigned for the Climate Change Act 2008, which committed the UK to the world’s toughest emission reduction targets.

After leaving FoE in 2008, he became special adviser to the Prince of Wales, first on his Rainforests Project and then his International Sustainability Unit.

He was the Green Party candidate in Cambridge at the 2010 general election.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prince-s-green-guru-is-paid-to-help-heathrow-d2zzc7ws8

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Hydrogen unlikely to become fuel for aircraft – it is no magic bullet solution for aviation CO2

Over the past decades many have investigated the possibility of using hydrogen as jet fuel, in the hope of keeping the aviation industry growing without massively increasing carbon emissions. A new paper from the Netherlands is enthusiastic about the use of hydrogen, saying it could be a good fuel as it is light. The professor writes: “It is a defect that kerosene is so irrationally cheap, which triggers much unnecessary air travel. A worldwide tax on kerosene – if at all politically possible – should be something to pursue.” However desirable it might be to fuel planes with hydrogen, the reasons it has been rejected in the past are first that producing hydrogen itself takes a huge amount of energy. Then it must be stored, very cold, in tanks far larger than (maybe 4 times as large) those used now on aircraft, even if stored as slush, not compressed gas. Metal hydride storage is also possible. All the options increase the weight of engines etc, outweighing the fact the hydrogen is lighter than kerosene. There could be challenges to using premixed injection with hydrogen rich fuel, since the reaction rate for hydrogen is faster than for jet fuel – there is a danger of flashback, which would have to be dealt with. The problem with contrails and non-CO2 impacts would be as great as with conventional jet fuel.
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‘Light, environmentally friendly’ liquid hydrogen proposed as aircraft fuel

By Josh Loeb (E&T Engineering & Technology)

February 24, 2017

Using hydrogen to fuel passenger aircraft deserves serious consideration as a potential solution to the problem of emissions, according to Dutch physicist Professor Jo Hermans, who compared the energy efficiency of modes of transport ranging from bikes to flights.

In a paper published in the journal MRS Energy and Sustainability, Prof Hermans of Leiden University concludes there are numerous advantages involved in using liquid hydrogen for air transport – most notably that it is so light.

Kerosene is currently used to power jet planes, and Hermans acknowledges that, in terms of cost and sheer convenience, this fuel is at present impossible to beat.

But he writes: “It is a defect that kerosene is so irrationally cheap, which triggers much unnecessary air travel. A worldwide tax on kerosene – if at all politically possible – should be something to pursue.”

In his paper, the academic, who has authored several popular science books with titles like Physics is Fun, adds: “Given the severe weight limitations for fuel in aircraft, liquid hydrogen may be a viable alternative in the long run.”

He discounts the potential of having solar-powered planes as this would be all but hopeless without revolutionary changes in aircraft design, writing, “Direct use of solar power is within reach for cars, provided that customers are willing to accept a lower degree of comfort. By contrast, for aviation purposes the direct solar power option seems to be beyond hope.”

Hydrogen is highly flammable and must be stored and handled with care, but Hermans believes taking necessary precautions would be perfectly feasible within the context of an already tightly regulated airport environment.

He points out that losses through ‘boil-off’ are also much less of an issue when using liquid hydrogen to fuel planes, as opposed to in cars.

For road transport, Hermans argues that liquid hydrogen is not a viable option due to safety issues around handling.

Electric vehicles offer the most promising solution, he believes. However, the challenge is to improve the performance of batteries to prolong the driving time, as well as improving the performance of super-capacitors for more rapid charging of the batteries.

Direct driving using solar power is difficult, Hermans finds, even under a clear sky, but he concludes solar family cars will be feasible in future if consumers are willing to sacrifice on comfort.

Transport makes up around 20 per cent of energy use globally – a figure that appears set to grow over coming decades.

One of the most efficient ways to reduce energy use in future, Hermans writes, is to reduce our mobility – for example, through having shorter distances between the workplace and home.

“In other words, urban planning provides an important key,” he concludes.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2017/02/its-light-and-environmentally-friendly-so-why-not-use-liquid-hydrogen-as-a-fuel-for-air-travel-asks-dutch-professor/

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Comments from some AirportWatch members:

I remember reading that because hydrogen is so bulky, hydrogen planes are more likely to have to fly in the stratosphere, where water vapour acts as a very strong greenhouse gas.  I believe there are studies that suggest the GHG impacts could be worse than those of current aviation.


This report doesn’t say much more than the idea seems worth exploring. Producing the hydrogen uses energy and probably therefore carbon emissions. Contrails might be more troublesome. Its only benefit would be if it stops the aviation biofuel nonsense.


It is entertaining but not very sensible. If hydrogen was burnt it would be hotter and produce more NOx – which is not very helpful. Hydrogen fuel cell + electric motor is not viable for big aircraft.  Hydrocarbon fuels are liquid hydrogen courtesy of carbon atoms (the energy needed to create the hydrogen in the first place) –  they would need carbon credits to offset the emissions. That could be done. So holding back ever increasing demand for air travel is a better idea.



Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering: Why don’t jet airplanes run on hydrogen, instead of jetfuel?

10..7.2015 (Quora)

The density of liquid hydrogen is very low, only about 71 g/L at 20K. Slush hydrogen may be a bit better.

So even though the energy of combustion per unit mass is pretty high, at about 120 MJ/kg, which compares very favorably with say Jet A, at 42.8 MJ/kg, there seems to be a problem with storage.

Liquid hydrogen needs to be pressurized somewhat, at least, and cooled to cryogenic temperature if you want to use the liquid or slush form. It probably requires about 4 times the fuel tank volume of jet fuel.

Or else hydrogen must be stored at very high pressure if you want to use the gaseous form.

Metal hydride storage is possible and reversible.

But all of these approaches will add significant weight to an aircraft, due to the weight of the specialized storage equipment and no doubt specialized fuel supply system.

There are some challenges to using premixed injection with hydrogen rich fuel, since the reaction rate for hydrogen is seven times as fast as for jet fuel – there is a danger of flashback or autoignition. But NASA is developing gas turbines that use lean direct injection which seem to solve that problem. That part of the technology can likely be handled.

But still, it’s not clear that the reduction in the mass of the fuel load by a factor of 3 would be enough to win out over the added inert mass.

Also as Bill said in his answer, cooling and acquiring hydrogen are pretty energy intensive.

There are certainly pollution advantages to using hydrogen as fuel … there is of course no CO2 emission, and NOx can be strongly mitigated.

And there is certainly a long history of running and designing gas turbines to run on hydrogen.

There have also been a number of experimental development programs as well as experimental aircraft developed that used liquid hydrogen as fuel. The European Cryoplane program has been restarted. Here’s a nice public relations talk summarizing the ideas and some of the challenges:   More at

http://www.fzt.haw-hamburg.de/pers/Scholz/dglr/hh/text_2001_12_06_Cryoplane.pdf

https://www.quora.com/Aerospace-and-Aeronautical-Engineering-Why-dont-jet-airplanes-run-on-hydrogen-instead-of-jetfuel

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Aviation industry ‘ditches’ hydrogen

Now hydrogen is being dropped again by the aviation industry.

But this time the promised “green” fuel for powering flights of the future has been quietly shelved in favour of biofuels and more fossil fuel-sipping aviation.

And while hydrogen as a potential “greener” fuel for foreseeable flights gets dumped worldwide, airlines and aircraft manufacturers are also jettisoning their once radical ideas for such hydrogen-burning, sci-fi-like, cryoplanes.

Should we be concerned? The aviation industry clearly is. Because whatever fuel becomes the de-facto power for all tomorrow’s flights the future of the passenger jet as we know it is doomed.

Facing a fate shared by other fossil fuel guzzlers, the jet will have to find alternatives to burning kerosene if it is to survive beyond the middle of the next century.

Which is when, according to the most optimistic figures, the Earth gives up its final barrel of oil.

It was hoped that hydrogen – whose volatility so spectacularly ended the hegemony of the airship when last used for flight – would provide the fuel for the next generation of passenger jets, or “cryoplanes”.

Energy costs

Now those hopes are dashed.

Three times more efficient than oil but four times bulkier – even in its liquid state – hydrogen already powers several prototype cryoplanes around the world.

But despite the millions poured into research, the promised commercialisation of such aircraft has to come to nothing as hydrogen failed to prove itself any greener then other energy sources.

“The energy costs of making hydrogen are enormous,” Professor Ian Poll, head of technology for the UK government-funded sustainable aviation Omega organisation tells the BBC.

“Currently it has to be created with an awful lot of energy. We need a source of electricity to make hydrogen that does not emit CO2, and there are not many of those around.”

He also points out that as world oil prices have been pegged at $70-85 per barrel, alternative fuels are simply not viable and can not compete economically.

But just 12 years ago, experts and much of the aircraft industry seemed bullish about hydrogen’s chances as the new super fuel.

Generated from hydropower, liquid hydrogen they thought would be the ultimate non-polluting fuel source that, with some modification, be readily used by today’s aircraft.

Radical redesign of the world’s airline fleet was planned to carry the bulky liquified gas. The result would have been new-look cryo-jets reminiscent of Thunderbird 2, with short wings and a bulging fuselage containing the liquified gas.

Green planes

Millions of taxpayers’ money has been funnelled into projects that did not seemingly take on board the the fact that hydrogen power would remain costly and polluting for some time to come.

Starting back in 2000, Airbus was involved with the 26-month EC-funded Cryoplane Project to assess the feasibility of hydrogen, in its bid to develop a zero carbon-emissions aircraft of the future.

Researchers found that aircraft would require fuel tanks four times larger than today’s. Models showed that the larger exterior surface areas would increase energy consumption by well over a tenth, and overall operating costs by around 5%.

Despite the drawbacks, reactions from the air industry were positive, with Airbus and its partners Daimler-Benz Aerospace avowing a goal of replacing kerosene with hydrogen to run their engines by 2020.

But for the aerospace giants, hydrogen’s appeal is now much diminished, and the emphasis seems to be on making fossil fuels go further.

“Kerosene is a very good fuel and very difficult to compete with,” explains Rainer von Wrede who works in Airbus’s research and technology department.

“In principle it is possible to fly with hydrogen and we have a proof of concept but for the moment we can not produce enough hydrogen in an environmentally friendly manner for aviation.”

On your bike

Where Airbus, and the aviation industry as a whole, is devoting its research is into reducing consumption further and committing to developing what it calls greener synthetic kerosene and leaner planes and engines.

Hydrogen, nuclear-powered planes, solar and electric powered commercial aircraft have all been shelved for the short- to mid-term.

“The big deal at the moment is alternative jet fuels. Principally biofuels that come from sustainable sources, and do not compete with food and water, ecetera,” Christopher Surgenor, editor and publisher of GreenAir Online tells the BBC.

“They must be ‘drop-in’ – in other words no major, if any, changes to aircraft engines and no changes to existing fuel transportation systems. Alternative fuels include coal-to-liquid (CTL) and gas-to-liquid jet fuels that are now fully certified in 50-50 blends, although CTL jet fuels have been in use at South African airports for many years.”

Aviation is growing at around 9% a year according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with greenhouse gas emissions from aviation currently accounting for approximately 3.5% of emissions from developed countries.

In addition, the impact of nitrogen oxides emissions and the impact of contrails are estimated to be “about two to four times greater than those of CO2 alone”.

The greening of the skies, it seems, is going to be as difficult as putting the board of British Airways on bicycles.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11707135

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Environmental Audit Cttee says government should take account of aviation non-CO2 impacts on climate

The Environmental Audit Committee report is highly critical of the government’s handling of the issue of carbon emissions created by a 3rd Heathrow runway. The EAC raises the issue of non-CO2 impacts, which is something this government (and the Airports Commission) tries to totally ignore. Atmospheric science is complicated, and the exact extent that non-CO2 impacts from emissions by aircraft high in the atmosphere contribute to warming effects is uncertain. It is estimated to be up to twice the impact of the CO2 alone. The government used to use a multiplier of x1.9, but this was quietly dropped after 2011.The EAC have asked the Secretary of State whether “the DfT’s upcoming aviation strategy would examine greenhouse gas emissions other than CO2. He said that non-CO2 emissions would be reduced alongside CO2, but “there is no clear scientific basis to look at other emissions and put those at the heart of our strategy”. The Appraisal of Sustainability says that non-CO2 emissions “are likely to be up to two times the magnitude of the CO2 emissions themselves, but […] cannot be readily quantified due to the level of scientific uncertainty and therefore have not been assessed”. The EAC says the government should take account of the likely additional climate change impact of some non-CO2.  Read the briefing on non-CO2 impacts.
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An AirportWatch member has written to the Environmental Audit Committee, on the subject of non-CO2 impacts of aviation.

These impacts arise from atmospheric effects, largely from water vapour – that causes contrails and the formation of cirrus cloud – and effects from NOx.

The letter to the EAC states:

Thank you for your excellent (and well-publicised) report ‘The Airports Commission Report Follow-up: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise’.

I was particularly interested in the following (para 58): “We asked the Secretary of State whether its upcoming aviation strategy would examine greenhouse gas emissions other than CO2. He said that non-CO2 emissions would be reduced alongside CO2, but “there is no clear scientific basis to look at other emissions and put those at the heart of our strategy”. The Assessment of Sustainability says that non-CO2 emissions “are likely to be up to two times the magnitude of the CO2 emissions themselves, but […] cannot be readily quantified due to the level of scientific uncertainty and therefore have not been assessed”.

Although the science for non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions is less certain than for CO2, work on the subject has been done by climate scientists.  However, none of scientists seem to be prepared to put their ‘head above the parapet’ insofar as trying to inform public policy.

You may therefore like to see a report which shows how, as a result, the government has systematically downplayed non-CO2 emissions.  [This is copied below].

While the estimates are acknowledged to be provisional and very approximate, we conclude that an addition of 60% should be made (factor of 1.6 applied) to the CO2 emissions to allow for the effect of non-CO2 emissions.  This is a very conservative figure because, in particular, the effects of cirrus cloud are not included.

Given the scale of the impacts, I think it unacceptable to simply ignore non-CO2 emissions on the grounds of scientific uncertainty.  I hope you agree.

I wonder, therefore, if you might be able to promote or encourage some research that would inform public policy on this important matter.

 

Name and address supplied.

 


Non-CO2 impacts Briefing in June 2015

“Government airbrushes aviation’s non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions”

is at

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/AirportWatch_Briefing_on_RF__19.6.2015.pdf

1. Introduction

While it been recognised for many years that the climate change impacts of aviation extend well beyond those of carbon dioxide (CO2), this fact is largely ignored by the government and its agencies. Our report examines the reasons for this and proposes an ‘index’ which will help to ensure that the issue of non-CO2 gases is properly accounted for.

2. Executive summary

In recent years there has been systematic downplaying of the issue of non-CO2 gases by the UK government and its associates. This report provides the evidence for that claim.

While ‘scientific uncertainty’ is claimed as the reason to ignore non-CO2, the real reason is that aviation emissions are an embarrassment to government and others who want to expand airports and air travel.

In earlier governmental and academic studies a ‘Radiative Forcing Index’ (RFI) has been used in order to capture non-CO2 impacts. However, RFI is a ‘backward looking metric’ and is therefore considered unsuitable for informing aviation policy.

This report argues that instead of just dropping the previously used RFI, it should be replaced by a ‘Global Warming Potential’ (GWP) index for estimating impacts and developing policy responses.

A rough value for the index of 1.6 is estimated. CO2 emissions should be multiplied by 1.6 in order to allow for the impact on non-CO2 GHGs. This is a very conservative figure – the true figure could be much higher, due mainly to cirrus.

The estimate and calculations around it are very approximate. The factor of 1.6 should therefore be regarded very much as an interim, pending a thorough and independent review of the issue of aviation’s non-CO2 emissions.

Although the proposed index is approximate and interim, it should be used forthwith in order to demonstrate impacts and inform policy. Citing scientific uncertainly as a justification for ignoring an issue would not be acceptable in other fields of public policy and should not be accepted when it comes to aviation emissions.

The full report with much more detail is at 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/AirportWatch_Briefing_on_RF__19.6.2015.pdf


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See the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) report 

The EAC report states:

Non-CO2 Emissions

58.

We asked the Secretary of State whether its upcoming aviation strategy would examine greenhouse gas emissions other than CO2. He said that non-CO2 emissions would be reduced alongside CO2,* but “there is no clear scientific basis to look at other emissions and put those at the heart of our strategy”.103 [ Link is from Oral Evidence, 30 November, 2016  Q74 ]  The Assessment* of Sustainability says that non-CO2 emissions “are likely to be up to two times the magnitude of the CO2 emissions themselves, but […] cannot be readily quantified due to the level of scientific uncertainty and therefore have not been assessed”.104  [ Link is to DfT, Draft Airports National Policy Statement Assessment of Sustainability, para. 6.11.10 ]

    [ * This is an nonsense statement, if the CO2 reductions the aviation sector hopes to make are only from offsetting, rather than actually emitting less from planes into the atmosphere. AW comment] 

    [ **misprint. Should say Appraisal of Sustainability ]

17. The Government’s aviation strategy should be integrated with the cross-Government emissions reduction plan. It should set out costed policies to either meet the Committee on Climate Change’s planning assumption or to make up the shortfall from other sectors. This decision will have to take account of the limited progress towards decarbonisation outside the energy sector and the likely additional climate change impact of some non-CO2 emissions. Where the Government makes assumptions that are more optimistic than the Committee on Climate Change’s advice it should subject those assumptions to independent scrutiny from industry and the CCC and, if necessary, revise its plans accordingly. This strategy should be available well before the end of the scrutiny period for the draft National Policy Statement and consultation on it should be completed before the National Policy Statement is finalised. (Paragraph 63)

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See also

 

New EAC report says government must provide clarity about its intentions on Heathrow CO2 emissions

The EAC has now published a follow up report to its November 2015 report, after the oral evidence given by Chris Grayling on 30th November. It is highly critical of the government on its assurances that the runway will meet carbon limits. The EAC says: “The Government claims that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within “the UK’s climate change obligations”. The Government has not set out what it means by “obligations”, let alone how it will meet them. It has not decided whether to accept the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation on limiting emissions from international aviation. It has not decided on whether to follow the CCC’s advice on offsetting. The Airports Commission told us the appropriate body to make recommendations on managing aviation emissions is the CCC. It would not be a credible position for the Government to claim that it can deliver Heathrow expansion within emissions limits whilst rejecting independent advice as to what those limits should be and how they should be met.” … The EAC says though Chris Grayling said told them the Government had not decided whether it intended to work towards the planning assumption [of limiting UK aviation to 37.5MtCO2 by 2050], when asked if he “had consulted other Ministers or sectors over the higher emissions reductions that they might be required to make if the planning assumption was not met. He said he had not yet done so.” And much more ….

Click here to view full story…

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EAC: “Government must mitigate environmental impact of new Heathrow runway” – current plans do not

The Environmental Audit Committee report on plans for a Heathrow runway show huge failings by the government, on noise, CO2 and air pollution, even after several years of trying to gloss over them.  The EAC report warns that proposed safeguards surrounding noise and pollution are inadequate, and just how inadequate the current NPS consultation on the 3rd runway is.  The report warns that the proposed ban on night flights between 11pm and 5.30am would, in reality, result in only 4 arrivals being rescheduled each day. At present the airport is limited to about 16 night flights in a 24-hour period, with most scheduled just before 6am, which would not be affected by the new ban. The report criticises ministers for effectively giving Heathrow the green light without “concrete policy proposals” covering the environment. There is no proof that Heathrow could be expanded without an increase in the number of polluting cars being driven to the airport. The runway is likely to increase aviation CO2 by 15% above a previously agreed limit, with no plans for how other sectors of society could compensate with deeper CO2 cuts (or even that they have been advised of the problem). Noise would become worse for many areas, and the independent aviation noise watchdog proposed would be inadequate, with no powers and just an “advisory function”.  And much, much more.
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Government must mitigate environmental impact of new Heathrow runway

23 February 2017 (Environmental Audit Committee)

The Government is still not doing enough to demonstrate that it can mitigate the environmental impacts of the planned new runway at Heathrow, MPs on the cross party Environmental Audit Committee have found.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said:

“If the Government wants to get Heathrow expansion off the ground it needs to show that a third runway can be built and run without exceeding legal limits on air pollution or breaching our carbon budgets. We have seen little evidence of the ‘step change’ in the Government’s approach we called for in our previous report. Worryingly, the Government looks set to water down the limits on aviation emissions recommended by its own climate change advisors. That would mean other sectors of the economy, like energy and industry, having to cut their carbon emissions even deeper and faster. Mitigating the air quality, carbon and noise impacts of a new runway cannot be an afterthought.  Ministers must work harder to show that Heathrow expansion can be done within the UK’s legally binding environmental commitments.”

Air Quality

The UK has already breached EU NO2 limits in London for 2017. A new air quality strategy is urgently required to ensure that airport expansion is not granted at the expense of public health.  The Committee is concerned that the Government has given no guarantees that air quality targets will be maintained after the UK leaves the EU.

The promise not to increase road traffic at Heathrow needs to be rigorously monitored, with clear accountability and consequences for failure. The MPs are concerned that the Government is relying on people switching to cleaner cars to reduce air pollution but have no confidence the Government will meet their targets for uptake. The report calls on the Government to implement an alert system for people who are especially vulnerable to short-term exposure to air pollution in London.

Carbon emissions

Scant detail has been provided on the Government’s approach to carbon emissions limits. The figures used by Ministers for the costs and benefits of expansion are based on a hypothetical international framework to reduce emissions which does not yet exist. The figures would leave international aviation emissions 15% higher than the level assumed in the UK’s Fifth Carbon Budget, which runs from 2028-32.

The Government is considering rejecting the recommendations of the independent Committee on Climate Change on the most cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions. The Government should publish an independently scrutinised strategy to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation and set out the resulting costs on other sectors to test their feasibility and desirability.

Noise

Measures on noise lack ambition; with no precision offered on the timing of a night flight ban and little evidence that predictable respite can be achieved. The case for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority with powers to enforce policy recommendations remains clear. The Committee is concerned that the Government is watering down the powers it intends to give to a new noise oversight body.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2015/heathrow-expansion-report-published-16-17/


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The Daily Mail:

Plans for third runway at Heathrow ‘will blight 47,000 additional homes with dangerous levels of air pollution’

  • The increase in cars, coaches and lorries will add to toxic nitrogen oxide fumes 
  • A damning report says Heathrow’s expansion will risk the health of people 
  • The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee claims a third runway risks breaching air pollution limits – a key barrier to it being built 
  • Problem is not planes but fumes pumped out by cars and trains travelling to it 

A third runway at Heathrow will expose 47,000 additional homes to dangerous air pollution because more vehicles will travel to the airport, MPs have warned.

The increase in cars, coaches and lorries will add to toxic nitrogen oxide fumes, which come mainly from diesel engines and are linked to the deaths of 23,500 people in Britain every year, it is feared.

With doctors already calling for diesel vehicles to be taken off the road, a damning report says Heathrow’s expansion will risk the health of people living in an extra 47,063 homes.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee claims a third runway risks breaching air pollution limits – a key barrier to it being built.

The big problem is not the aeroplanes, but the fumes pumped out by cars and trains travelling to it.

The committee now reports it has ‘no confidence’ the Government can meet its target to fix the problem, of 60 per cent of all new cars being ultra-low emissions vehicles by 2030.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show 1.29 million new diesel cars were registered last year, 48 per cent of all car purchases.

Mary Creagh MP, chair of the environmental Audit Committee, said: ‘If the Government wants to get Heathrow expansion off the ground, it needs to show that a third runway can be built and run without exceeding legal limits on air pollution or breaching our carbon budgets.

‘We have seen little evidence of the “step change” in the Government’s approach we called for in our previous report.’

Medical leaders have called for a modern version of the Clean Air Act, which 60 years ago ended the ‘pea souper’ smog in Britain, as 37 major cities persistently record illegal pollution levels.

And London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s proposed £3,500 diesel scrappage scheme to pay people to replace their cars.

London breached its annual limit for nitrogen dioxide in just the first five days of this year, with diesel cars pumping out 10 times the tiny particles linked to asthma, heart and lung disease compared to petrol vehicles.

But Heathrow’s runway is feared to worsen the diesel crisis, with the Government admitting it may have a ‘moderate’ impact on health, increasing the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

The big problem is not the aeroplanes, but the fumes pumped out by cars and trains travelling to it

The Government’s own appraisal estimates that an increased 47,063 properties could be exposed to air pollution, with dangerous levels also possible at Wraysbury Reservoir, a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its important breeding birds.

The Transport Secretary told the environmental audit committee the problem of air quality must be tackled before the runway, given the go-ahead last year, goes ahead. It is expected to be compleyed by 2025.

But the committee’s Airports Commission Report Follow-Up states: ‘The Government’s reliance on low emission technology as the solution is of concern because we have no confidence that the Government will meet its target for 60 per cent of all new cars to be Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles by 2030, as a result of our inquiry into sustainability in the Department for Transport.’

The Supreme Court has ordered the Government to produce a new air pollution strategy by April, after ruling that its Air Quality Plan is based on ‘optimistic emissions data’.

Medical leaders have called for a modern version of the Clean Air Act, which 60 years ago ended the ‘pea souper’ smog in Britain, as 37 major cities persistently record illegal pollution levels

The Department for Transport insists that the runway can be delivered within emissions limits and with no extra cars on the road.

However London Mayor Sadiq Khan told MPs: ‘It is yet to be demonstrated that an expanded Heathrow could operate without exceeding legal limits for NO2.’

The environment committee is also calling for the hours of a night-time flight ban to be set, as research suggests an extra 200,000 people could be affected by significant aircraft noise.

Professor Alastair Lewis, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York, said: ‘Whether the areas around Heathrow will meet current air quality standards will be crucially dependent on how emissions from other sectors evolve over time, and whether predicted reductions from these can offset new pollution arising from expansion.’

He added: ‘Elevated air pollution even below limit values is now known to affect health and has a real cost.

‘The ambition should always be for development to aim for as low a concentration of pollution as is practical, not simply to do the minimum necessary to gain a pass-mark.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4251280/Third-runway-Heathrow-increase-health-risk.html

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The Guardian

Government ‘watering down’ pollution limits to meet Heathrow pledge

MPs say ministers are not doing enough to demonstrate how third runway would meet obligations on noise and air quality

By Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent (Guardian)

Thursday 23 February 2017

The government is set to “water down” limits on aviation emissions and is shifting targets to meet its pledge to mitigate the environmental impact of expanding Heathrow, MPs have said.
The cross-party environmental audit committee said ministers were not doing enough to demonstrate a third Heathrow runway could be built without breaching laws on air quality and carbon emissions.

Its report said the government had persistently failed to define which obligations it would be meeting on climate change, or whether it would keep to EU limits on air quality after Brexit, while assurances on noise respite also fell short on specifics.

Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield and the committee chair, said: “If the government wants to get Heathrow expansion off the ground it needs to show that a third runway can be built and run without exceeding legal limits on air pollution or breaching our carbon budgets.

“Worryingly, the government looks set to water down the limits on aviation emissions recommended by its own climate change advisers. That would mean other sectors of the economy, like energy and industry, having to cut their carbon emissions even deeper and faster,” Creagh said.

“Mitigating the air quality, carbon and noise impacts of a new runway cannot be an afterthought. Ministers must work harder to show that Heathrow expansion can be done within the UK’s legally binding environmental commitments.”

The committee said it was concerned that the government had given no guarantees that air quality targets would be maintained after the UK leaves the EU, and said a new air quality strategy was urgently required.

While conditions for expansion have included a promise not to increase road traffic at Heathrow, MPs said it would need to be rigorously monitored, with clear accountability and consequences for failure. The MPs said the government was relying on people switching to cleaner cars to reduce air pollution but had no confidence its targets would be met.

Meanwhile, the MPs said figures used by ministers were based on a “hypothetical international framework to reduce emissions” that does not yet exist but which would still leave the UK having to deal with higher levels of carbon emissions from aviation than it had budgeted for in meeting its agreed CO2 targets.

A proposed night flight ban had not been nailed down, and there was little evidence that predictable respite could be achieved, MPs said, adding that it feared the government was watering down the powers it would give to a new body overseeing noise pollution from the airport.

John Stewart, chair of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (Hacan), a campaign group that opposes Heathrow expansion, said: “The committee is saying in no uncertain terms that both the government and Heathrow airport have got to up their game big time if they are to have any chance of getting a third runway. They have got to prove they can deliver on noise, climate and air pollution, not just say they can.”

The Greenpeace UK executive director, John Sauven, said: “There’s a litany of questions about the environmental impacts of a third runway that the government has been fudging. MPs are absolutely right to demand clear answers. Ministers have produced no evidence that Heathrow expansion is compatible with bringing down illegal levels of air pollution or meeting our climate targets.”

The Department for Transport has yet to comment.

The report was published in the first week of public events in the government’s four-month consultation on the planned third runway at Heathrow. MPs will vote on the plan in the winter.
Local councils have accused the government of misleading the public in leaflets issued to thousands of households. They warn that the “rushed and imbalanced” consultation does not provide them with information on the negative effects of Heathrow expansion – particularly as flight paths that will affect particular communities have yet to be agreed.

Richmond, Hillingdon, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils have sent information leaflets highlighting the expected impact on pollution, health, traffic and noise, as well as costs to taxpayers. The councils say an extra 108 schools would become severely impacted by aircraft noise and that there would an additional 25m road journeys to the airport.

The Commons transport select committee announced on Wednesday that it would hold an inquiry into the national policy statement on airports, the policy paper that sets out the government’s plans to back the third runway, with MPs examining the suitability of the evidence and rationale for the decision, and the effectiveness of the public consultation.
A Department for Transport spokesman said:“We take our air quality commitments extremely seriously and have been very clear that the new runway will not get the go-ahead unless air quality requirements can be met.

“Our draft airports national policy statement sets out a world-class package of compensation and mitigation measures to support local communities and limit the environmental impact of airport expansion. We are currently carrying out a full consultation, and want to hear everyone’s views.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/23/heathrow-third-runway-mps-say-government-watering-down-pollution-limits

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The Times

Heathrow flight ban dismissed as a sham

23 Feb 2017,

By Graeme Paton (Transport Correspondent, The Times)

A proposed ban on night flights into Britain’s biggest airport is a sham because it will only require the rescheduling of four planes a day, according to MPs. In a report published today, a committee warns that a proposed crackdown on noise at an expanded Heathrow risks being an “afterthought”.

MPs accuse the government of using out-of-date measurements of noise impacts, failing to guarantee quiet periods for residents under the flight path and watering down plans for an independent aviation noise watchdog.

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Full Times article at  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/heathrow-flight-ban-dismissed-as-a-sham-f2kk9ppkk

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The Financial Times

 

MPs criticise government over Heathrow air quality

No proof that new runway will satisfy emission limits, claims report

by Robert Wright, Transport Correspondent (FT)

23.2.2017

[Some extracts below ….]

The government’s decision to push ahead with a consultation on plans for a third runway at the airport means there has been no time for a comprehensive reappraisal of the emissions projections, according to the report. The original projections were drawn up before new evidence, including the Volkswagen emissions scandal, showed diesel vehicles’ emissions were far higher than previously recognised.

The government looks set to increase aviation’s projected share of future carbon emissions to facilitate Heathrow’s expansion and has also said it might ignore official advice from the Committee on Climate Change, which advises ministers on environmental issues.

“Worryingly, the government looks set to water down the limits on aviation emissions recommended by its own climate change advisers,” Ms Creagh said. “That would mean other sectors of the economy, like energy and industry, having to cut their carbon emissions even deeper and faster.”

Full FT article at   https://www.ft.com/content/1e99e51a-f8ee-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71

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New EAC report says government must provide clarity about its intentions on Heathrow CO2 emissions

The EAC has now published a follow up report to its November 2015 report, after the oral evidence given by Chris Grayling on 30th November. It is highly critical of the government on its assurances that the runway will meet carbon limits. The EAC says: “The Government claims that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within “the UK’s climate change obligations”. The Government has not set out what it means by “obligations”, let alone how it will meet them. It has not decided whether to accept the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation on limiting emissions from international aviation. It has not decided on whether to follow the CCC’s advice on offsetting. The Airports Commission told us the appropriate body to make recommendations on managing aviation emissions is the CCC. It would not be a credible position for the Government to claim that it can deliver Heathrow expansion within emissions limits whilst rejecting independent advice as to what those limits should be and how they should be met.” … The EAC says though Chris Grayling said told them the Government had not decided whether it intended to work towards the planning assumption [of limiting UK aviation to 37.5MtCO2 by 2050], when asked if he “had consulted other Ministers or sectors over the higher emissions reductions that they might be required to make if the planning assumption was not met. He said he had not yet done so.” And much more ….
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New EAC report  Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise Seventh Report of Session 2016–17

23.2.2017

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in the House of Commons has been a key means of holding the DfT, Heathrow and the government to account on the environmental impacts of aviation expansion.

There are reports and associated evidence on all its inquiries, on the EAC website.

In November 2015 the EAC published an interim report on the Airports Commission’s recommendation for airport expansion in the South East of England. In October 2016 the Government announced its support for a third runway at Heathrow, in line with the Commission’s recommendation. The Government has since published a draft Airports National Policy Statement.

The EAC has now published a follow up report to their November 2015 report.  It deals with air pollution (including surface access), carbon emissions and noise.

The EAC heard oral evidence from Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, and Caroline Low of the DfT, on 30th November 2015.

In the summary of the new report, the EAC say:

“We have seen little evidence so far of the “step change” in the Government’s approach to environmental mitigation which we called for in our interim report. To inform the National Policy Statement process, the Government needs to set out new modelling on air quality following the High Court’s latest ruling and a new approach to air quality post 2019; an emissions reduction strategy that will allow the UK’s carbon budgets to be met and effective noise mitigation measures enforced by an Independent Aviation Noise Authority. The Government must not allow our air quality standards to be watered down as a result of leaving the EU.”

Below are just the sections from the February 2017 EAC report on carbon emissions 

 

The Airports Commission Report Follow-up: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise Seventh Report of Session 2016–17

23.2.2017

Carbon emissions

There has been no clarity from the Government on carbon emissions. The Government’s headline cost-benefit analysis for Heathrow expansion is based on a hypothetical international framework to reduce emissions which would leave international aviation emissions 15% higher than the level assumed in the Fifth Carbon Budget (2028–2033).

The Government has said Heathrow “can” be delivered within emissions limits but it hasn’t decided or stated what these limits are. It is considering rejecting the Committee on Climate Change’s advice on the limits that should be adhered to and the level of passenger demand which is compatible with those limits. The Government’s revised aviation strategy must set out its approach to reducing emissions, the target it will work to and the measures it will take to close the policy gap between where we currently are and where we will need to be in each carbon budget period to 2050. If the Government does reject the Committee on Climate Change’s advice on aviation emissions it should  set out clearly the resulting additional emissions reduction requirements on other sectors of the economy and the resulting costs to those sectors. These assumptions should be tested with industry and subjected to independent scrutiny by the Committee on Climate Change.

Background

46.

In our interim report, we examined the Airports Commission’s analysis of the potential impact of differing carbon policies on the viability of expanding airport capacity in the South East of England. By far the largest climate change impacts come from additional international flights, we have therefore focused on these rather than the mitigation measures proposed in relation to construction and operation.64 We found a significant policy gap between aviation emissions policy as it stood and the measures modelled by the Commission. We noted that, whilst the Airports Commission had modelled various carbon policy scenarios,65 it had not made recommendations on how emissions should be managed. The former Commissioners argued this was for the Committee on Climate Change. We recommended that the Government’s 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 Climate Change Act 2008.66

47.

Since our interim report, the Government has legislated for the Fifth Carbon Budget,67 which starts in 2028, but is yet to publish its plan for meeting the Budget. The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) has also agreed a Global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme (CORSIA).68 The UK has indicated it will participate from the beginning of the scheme in 2021.69

48.In announcing the Government’s decision, the Secretary of State for Transport said “it [Heathrow expansion] can be delivered within carbon […] limits”.70 The draft National Policy Statement document repeats this claim–acknowledging that the Heathrow additional runway scheme generates the most additional CO2, but stating this was not considered a differentiating factor between schemes because “The Airports Commission concluded that any one of the three shortlisted schemes could be delivered within the UK’s climate change obligations, as well as showing that a mix of policy measures and technologies could be employed to meet the Committee of [sic.] Climate Change’s planning assumption”.71 The Government has said it will update its aviation strategy—including on carbon emissions—later this year.72

International Aviation and the Climate Change Act 2008

49.

As set out in our interim report, the Committee on Climate Change and Government are required by the Climate Change Act 2008 to take international aviation emissions into account when setting carbon budgets.73 To do this, the Committee on Climate Change includes “an appropriate planning assumption” into carbon budgets for the purposes of setting contributions from other sectors. This assumes that UK gross74international aviation emissions will be no more than 2005 levels—37.5 MtCO2—in 2050. This is in line with a target set by the then-Government in 2009 and has been described by the CCC as consistent with passenger growth of around 60% over the 2005–2050 period.75 This is less than the carbon reduction targets set for other sectors, such as energy or industry, reflecting the technical challenges of developing non-fossil fuel alternatives for aviation fuel.76

50.

The status of the planning assumption in relation to Government policy has been the source of some confusion during our inquiry. The Secretary of State told us “there is no law of the land that requires us to meet any particular [international aviation emissions reduction] target” and pointed out that the Climate Change Act 2008 does not require international aviation to be included in the carbon budgets.77 However, the planning assumption played a key role in the Airports Commission’s report and was perceived by some of our witnesses, including Heathrow Ltd. itself, to be a Government target.78

51.

The aviation industry also has its own emissions reductions targets, although they are less ambitious than the CCC’s planning assumption which was used by the Government when legislating for the Fifth Carbon Budget. The ICAO agreement aims at a “global aspirational goal of keeping the global net CO2 emissions from international aviation from 2020 at the same level”. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) have set out a number of ways in which it falls short of meeting the planning assumption and, as we set out below, it assumes carbon prices lower than those assumed under the Airports Commission’s carbon-traded model.79 Sustainable Aviation published a “CO2 Road Map” in 2012 which aimed to show how the UK aviation industry could “accommodate significant growth to 2050 without a substantial increase in absolute CO2emissions” and reduce net levels to 50% of 2005 levels through internationally agreed carbon trading.80 The planning assumption requires reductions in actual emissions to 2005 levels, as opposed to calculating net emissions after the operation of a carbon trading system, which both the ICAO and Sustainable Aviation focus on.81

52.

Whilst international aviation is not yet included in carbon budgets, other sectors’ contributions have been calculated assuming that the planning assumption for international aviation will be met by 2050. This point was made in a letter from the Chairman of the CCC, Lord Deben, to the Secretary of State for BEIS, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, following the Government’s announcement on Heathrow. Lord Deben noted that the Government’s headline analysis of the costs and benefits of expansion in its announcement on expansion was based on modelling which assumed the planning assumption would be exceeded by 15% in 2050. Lord Deben observed that exceeding the planning assumption would result in other sectors having to make deeper reductions in their emissions. He said the CCC has “limited confidence” that such reductions could be achieved.82 We also note that the modelling used by the Airports Commission in this scenario assumes the UK’s continued participation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme up to 2030.

53.

The Government intends to set out further details about its approach to aviation emissions in a series of documents to be published later this year.83 Caroline Low said the Government would be looking to put “flesh on the bones” of the Airports Commission’s carbon sensitivity model.84 The Government argued this analysis demonstrates it is possible to meet the planning assumption with a higher rate of passenger growth—80% between 2005 and 2050—than the CCC believes is compatible.85 The Secretary of State said that three elements would make this possible: improvements in aircraft efficiency, biofuels (which the Government has just launched a consultation on) and the ICAO agreement on offsetting.86 In our interim report we noted that current Government policy fell short of meeting some of the assumptions modelled by the Commission in these areas alongside concerns that some of these may not be achievable practically or politically.87

54.

Although the Secretary of State argued that the Airports Commission Report showed it was possible to deliver Heathrow expansion and additional passenger growth whilst still meeting the planning assumption, he did not say that this was necessarily the Government’s intention. He told us that the Government had not decided whether it intended to work towards the planning assumption.88 Nor had the Government decided whether to work towards a target of reducing actual aviation emissions (as recommended by the CCC) or one of reducing net emissions (which would count offset emissions as a reduction).89 We asked whether he had consulted other Ministers or sectors over the higher emissions reductions that they might be required to make if the planning assumption was not met. He said he had not yet done so.90

55.

In its draft National Policy Statement, the Government states that the Airports Commission Report showed “that a mix of policy measures and technologies could be employed to meet the Committee of Climate Change’s [sic.] planning assumption”.91 In our interim report, we identified a “policy gap” between the theoretical measures modelled by the Airports Commission to control aviation emissions and current policy.92 The AEF, in their supplementary evidence, argued that the Government had tacitly accepted the existence of a policy gap in their announcement and had decided to dispense with the planning assumption rather than try to meet it.93 The Secretary of State denied that such a gap existed—citing the Airports Commission’s work and the measures discussed above.94 The draft National Policy Statement states that Heathrow Airport will be expected to take “ambitious measures” to limit carbon emissions, however, as discussed earlier, the main generator of CO2 will be through flights themselves.95

56.

As an example, we asked the Secretary of State about carbon prices. The ICAO envisages a carbon price of between $12 and $40 per tonne in 2035.96 The price modelled by the Commission for 2035—under the carbon-traded scenario which underpins the headline figures in the Government’s announcement and which would miss the planning assumption by 15% in 2050—was £101 per tonne.97 For other scenarios, particularly the carbon-capped scenario in which the planning assumption is met—the price modelled by the Commission was higher.98 We note the uncertainty in carbon price forecasts, and that the price of an emissions allowance in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme was around €4.60 when this report was produced. In our interim report we remarked that these “give an indication of the scale of intervention likely to be required” to meet the CCC’s planning assumption.99

57.

In our interim report we noted scepticism from some witnesses that future Governments would be likely to sign up to such prices, although Heathrow Ltd. were confident of their ability to prosper under them.100 In oral evidence, to the Committee in 2015, the former Commissioner, Professor Dame Julia King, agreed that the lower carbon prices–for the carbon traded model–were in line with CCC and Government modelling, but higher prices–those needed to meet the planning assumption–“are such high carbon prices that […] I do not think it is entirely sensible to regard them as in any way real carbon prices.”101 When asked if he could envisage carbon prices reaching those levels the Secretary of State said “The answer is we don’t know [but] the Airports Commission has taken some fairly prudent assessments on this.”102

Non-CO2 Emissions

58.

We asked the Secretary of State whether its upcoming aviation strategy would examine greenhouse gas emissions other than CO2. He said that non-CO2 emissions would be reduced alongside CO2, but “there is no clear scientific basis to look at other emissions and put those at the heart of our strategy”.103 The Assessment of Sustainability says that non-CO2 emissions “are likely to be up to two times the magnitude of the CO2 emissions themselves, but […] cannot be readily quantified due to the level of scientific uncertainty and therefore have not been assessed”.104

Conclusions

59.

The headline cost and benefits figures in the Government’s announcement on Heathrow and the draft National Policy Statement assume a black hole in the 2050 carbon budget that other sectors, such as energy or industry, would have to fill. It also assumes continued participation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme up to 2030, it is imperative that the UK remains within the EUTS or any future European emissions trading scheme. The Government has told us it intends to base its policy on another scenario which incorporates assumptions about the level of passenger demand compatible with managing emissions which are more optimistic than the Committee on Climate Change’s advice. The business case for Heathrow expansions must be assessed against a cost/benefit analysis which uses realistic carbon policy assumptions, in line with the Government’s aviation strategy, and takes account of the resulting impacts on other airports and other sectors of the economy. These must be the headline figures in future Government publications, including the final National Policy Statement.

60.

The Government claims that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within “the UK’s climate change obligations”. The Government has not set out what it means by “obligations”, let alone how it will meet them. It has not decided whether to accept the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation on limiting emissions from international aviation. It has not decided on whether to follow the CCC’s advice on offsetting. The Airports Commission told us the appropriate body to make recommendations on managing aviation emissions is the CCC. It would not be a credible position for the Government to claim that it can deliver Heathrow expansion within emissions limits whilst rejecting independent advice as to what those limits should be and how they should be met.

61.

The signing of the ICAO agreement is a necessary first step to reducing emissions from international aviation, but it is not sufficient in itself. The Government should reconfirm its intention to participate in this scheme from 2021, which is after the date when the Government intends to have formally completed leaving the EU, urge other major emitters, including the United States, to live up to their commitments to participate from the earliest possible date, and work towards strengthening the agreement during its review periods.

62.

Our interim report noted a significant policy gap between the modelling done by the Airports Commission and meeting the Committee on Climate Change’s advice on aviation emissions. The Committee on Climate Change has repeatedly urged the Government to draw up an emissions reduction strategy for aviation. The ICAO agreement means the Government no longer has any excuse not to do so. In the absence of concrete policy proposals from Government, we cannot assess whether the additional emissions from additional flights to and from Heathrow can be properly mitigated. Expanding Heathrow without drawing up such a strategy would, therefore, be putting the cart before the horse.

63.

The Government’s aviation strategy should be integrated with the cross-Government emissions reduction plan. It should set out costed policies to either meet the Committee on Climate Change’s planning assumption or to make up the shortfall from other sectors. This decision will have to take account of the limited progress towards decarbonisation outside the energy sector and the likely additional climate change impact of some non-CO2 emissions. Where the Government makes assumptions that are more optimistic than the Committee on Climate Change’s advice it should subject those assumptions to independent scrutiny from industry and the CCC and, if necessary, revise its plans accordingly. This strategy should be available well before the end of the scrutiny period for the draft National Policy Statement and consultation on it should be completed before the National Policy Statement is finalised.


Conclusions and recommendations document at 

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvaud/840/84008.htm

Carbon Emissions

9. We reiterate that we foresee legal and commercial risks down the line if clear responsibilities and accountability for meeting air quality targets are not set out at the beginning of the process. For example, Heathrow have said there will be “no more cars on the road” as a result of expansion. (Paragraph 45)

10. There needs to be clarity over how this pledge will be delivered and monitored, the consequences if it is not met and the implications of that for local authorities’ responsibilities to deliver air quality compliance. (Paragraph 45)

11. The headline cost and benefits figures in the Government’s announcement on Heathrow and the draft National Policy Statement assume a black hole in the 2050 carbon budget that other sectors, such as energy or industry, would have to fill. It also assumes continued participation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme up to 2030, it is imperative that the UK remains within the EUTS or any future European emissions trading scheme. The Government has told us it intends to base its policy on another scenario which incorporates assumptions about the level of passenger demand compatible with managing emissions which are more optimistic than the Committee on Climate Change’s advice. (Paragraph 59)

12. The business case for Heathrow expansions must be assessed against a cost/benefit analysis which uses realistic carbon policy assumptions, in line with the Government’s aviation strategy, and takes account of the resulting impacts on other airports and other sectors of the economy. These must be the headline figures in future Government publications, including the final National Policy Statement. (Paragraph 59)

13. The Government claims that Heathrow expansion can be delivered within “the UK’s climate change obligations”. The Government has not set out what it means by “obligations”, let alone how it will meet them. It has not decided whether to accept the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation on limiting emissions from international aviation. It has not decided on whether to follow the CCC’s advice on offsetting. The Airports Commission told us the appropriate body to make recommendations on managing aviation emissions is the CCC. It would not be a credible position for the Government to claim that it can deliver Heathrow expansion within emissions limits whilst rejecting independent advice as to what those limits should be and how they should be met. (Paragraph 60)

14. The signing of the ICAO agreement is a necessary first step to reducing emissions from international aviation, but it is not sufficient in itself. (Paragraph 61)

15. The Government should reconfirm its intention to participate in this scheme from 2021, which is after the date when the Government intends to have formally completed leaving the EU, urge other major emitters, including the United States, to live up to their commitments to participate from the earliest possible date, and work towards strengthening the agreement during its review periods. (Paragraph 61)

16. Our interim report noted a significant policy gap between the modelling done by the Airports Commission and meeting the Committee on Climate Change’s advice on aviation emissions. The Committee on Climate Change has repeatedly urged the Government to draw up an emissions reduction strategy for aviation. The ICAO agreement means the Government no longer has any excuse not to do so. In the absence of concrete policy proposals from Government, we cannot assess whether the additional emissions from additional flights to and from Heathrow can be properly mitigated. Expanding Heathrow without drawing up such a strategy would, therefore, be putting the cart before the horse. (Paragraph 62)

17. The Government’s aviation strategy should be integrated with the cross-Government emissions reduction plan. It should set out costed policies to either meet the Committee on Climate Change’s planning assumption or to make up the shortfall from other sectors. This decision will have to take account of the limited progress towards decarbonisation outside the energy sector and the likely additional climate change impact of some non-CO2 emissions. Where the Government makes assumptions that are more optimistic than the Committee on Climate Change’s advice it should subject those assumptions to independent scrutiny from industry and the CCC and, if necessary, revise its plans accordingly. This strategy should be available well before the end of the scrutiny period for the draft National Policy Statement and consultation on it should be completed before the National Policy Statement is finalised. (Paragraph 63)


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See the EAC report 


The Environmental Audit Committee, chaired by Mary Creagh, heard oral evidence from Chris Grayling, and Caroline Low (Dft) on 30th November.

“The Airports Commission Report: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise, HC 840 Wednesday 30 November 2016

Members present: Mary Creagh (Chair); Peter Aldous; Caroline Ansell; Glyn Davies; Caroline Lucas; Mr Gavin Shuker.

Questions 1 – 133 Witnesses: Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, and Caroline Low, Director of Airport Capacity, Department for Transport.

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/environmental-audit-committee/the-airports-commission-reportcarbon-emissionsair-quality-and-noise/oral/44113.pdf

 

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Opponents in Austria delighted by court decision to ban Vienna 3rd runway due to CO2, but airport may appeal

Austria’s Federal Administrative Court has blocked Vienna airport’s plans for a 3rd runway because of the extra greenhouse gas emissions it would have caused, and unacceptable loss of agricultural land.  The airport and its allies are furious and have sworn to break this ruling. Legally they should not be able to because ordinary appeal was excluded. They must overcome the very high hurdles of an extraordinary appeal, but opponents fear they will try to get this. The appeal would have to make transparent what is at stake:  is Austria going to take climate change seriously or not? In the UK we have the same problem, but our courts are clearly not mandated in the same way in relation to climate change (air quality is separate). Calculations show the 3rd runway, with its traffic projections, would have been by far the most polluting project in terms of GHG-emissions, and would have destroyed several hundred hectares of agricultural land – needed to grow food. Some of the Austrian media are taking the line that such a decision is not to be made by the court but by politicians, and that the Austrian economy should be more important than the climate. So the airport and Vienna city (20% shareholder of the Vienna airport stock corporation) want to appeal. Opponents are worried.
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Opponents of the runway say:

[The comments may not be fully accurate, as there are complex legal arguments, but this is the understanding of the local group].

 

They are nervous that all the pressure could finally lead to an approval of the runway.

The court sentence is only in German so far, but trying to summarise it – it says

The decision is based on § 71 Luftfahrtgesetz (aviation law), which says that an airport approval shall be given if:  “… d) it is not in conflict with other public interests.“

This gives the judges the mandate to balance interests – something which wasn’t done in the first round of the environmental impact assessment at the court of lower Austria (which also has a 20% share of the airport).

The court ruled that the interest of climate mitigation and preservation of agricultural land was more important than the one of economic growth and jobs.

It lists in its argumentation the political decisions around this: the signature of Kyoto and Paris, regulations from federal and state constitutions, the Austrian climate mitigation strategy (2012) which demands to “take into account possible effects of climate change in all relevant planning and decision making processes on the national until the local level“.

Austria’s climate mitigation law sets yearly targets for GHG-emissions, also by sector. The court decision says: “In the transport sector GHG emissions should decrease from 22,2 to 21.7%, which would be a decrease of 2,25%. The construction and operation of the third runway would cause an increase of 1.79% or rather [bzw.] 2,02 % of the whole GHG-emissions in Austria.“

This means that the runway would attack Austria’s own climate strategy, which is the reason for not accepting the construction. Especially, since the airport itself cannot compensate for the emissions itself (which may be interpreted to mean that if the airport used more offsetting, the verdict could have been different …).

Regarding the agricultural land and forest aspect: The verdict says there is no possibility of compensation (biodiversity offsetting) of areas nearby – and compensation of forest would lead to even less agricultural land.  State regulations demand a restriction of the destruction of arable land, but the runway would lead to a destruction of an area of land which in the recent rate takes 2 months (11.5 ha of arable land are consumed for transport and construction projects in Austria daily).

Opponents of the runway hope that this court case can be an example for other high carbon emission projects – and that it doesn’t get over-ruled .]

If you want to support the Austrian campaigners,  use Twitter (hashtags #HeißeLuft and #DrittePiste) and like/share/comment their Facebook page .

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Court in Austria blocks 3rd runway at Vienna airport, as climate harm outweighs a few more jobs

A court in Austria has ruled that Vienna Schwechat Airport cannot be expanded with a 3rd runway, on climate change grounds. It said the increased greenhouse gas emissions for Austria would cause harm and climate protection is more important than creating other jobs. The court said the ability of the airport to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by its own measures were not sufficient, and emissions would rise too much. It also said it was important to conserve valuable arable land for future generations to provide food supplies. The airport will appeal. It is using the same false arguments that the DfT and Heathrow are using here – that building a 3rd runway would (allegedly) reduce the amount of carbon emissions and noise because they claim (against common logic) that “fuel consumption and the noise are reduced, because the waiting times of the aircraft would be avoided at peak times.” The airport hopes the runway would bring more tourists into Austria to spend their money, and would be needed by 2025. The airport had 22.8 million passengers in 2015.  It is a mystery how such a low number of passengers could require 3 runways, when there is barely enough to fill one, let alone two, runway.

Click here to view full story…

Climate change worries halt Vienna airport’s third runway

(The Local – Austria)

10 February 2017

A court has blocked Vienna airport’s plans for a third runway saying it would have resulted in greater greenhouse gas emissions, in a verdict described by lawyers as a first.

Austria’s Federal Administrative Court said in a ruling published late on Thursday that the “positive aspects of the project cannot justify the high extra carbon dioxide pollution.”

A third runway would result in a “significant” rise in greenhouse gas output, contravening the country’s domestic and international undertakings to reduce emissions, a statement said.

“The airport’s possibilities to reduce CO2 emissions through its own measures (such as the installation of solar panels and changing its vehicles to electric cars) were insufficient,” it added.

“As far as I know this is unique that climate protection is used as an argument to block a concrete plan,” Christian Schmelz, a lawyer for the airport, told the newspaper Die Presse.

Erika Wagner, head of the Environmental Law Institute at Linz University, called it a “landmark ruling”.

http://www.thelocal.at/20170210/climate-change-worries-halt-vienna-airports-third-runway

 

 

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Court in Austria blocks 3rd runway at Vienna airport, as climate harm outweighs a few more jobs

A court in Austria has ruled that Vienna Schwechat Airport cannot be expanded with a 3rd runway, on climate change grounds. It said the increased greenhouse gas emissions for Austria would cause harm and climate protection is more important than creating other jobs. The court said the ability of the airport to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by its own measures were not sufficient, and emissions would rise too much. It also said it was important to conserve valuable arable land for future generations to provide food supplies. The airport will appeal.  It is using the same false arguments that the DfT and Heathrow are using here – that building a 3rd runway would (allegedly) reduce the amount of carbon emissions and noise because they claim (against common logic) that “fuel consumption and the noise are reduced, because the waiting times of the aircraft would be avoided at peak times.” 

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Vienna court bans third runway because of climate protection

9.2.2017  (Frankfurter Allemegeine)

Vienna Airport can not be expanded. A court forbade the construction of a third runway because it would increase greenhouse gas emissions. Climate protection is more important than other jobs.

For climate protection reasons, no third landing and runway can be built at the Vienna Schwechat airport. On Thursday, the Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) filed an application for the construction and operation of another airport airport. “The construction of the third runway at Vienna Schwechat Airport and the resulting increased air traffic would lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Austria,” the company said.

The high CO2 burden is more important than the economic and labor market policy interests. The possibilities of the airport to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by its own measures are not sufficient. “It is also urgently necessary to conserve valuable arable land for future generations to provide food supplies” (W109 2000179-1 / 291E)An airport spokesperson regretted the ruling and announced legal resistance. “Flughafen Wien AG will act against this decision and will deal with the administrative court in this matter,” the spokesman said. With a third slope, the fuel consumption and the noise are reduced, because the waiting times of the aircraft would be avoided at peak times.

New jobs would also arise. Without further piste the competition opportunities of the economic and tourist location of Austria are threatened. With 22.8 million passengers (2015), Schwechat is an important hub for air traffic in Eastern and South Eastern Europe.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/unternehmen/wien-gericht-verbietet-dritte-startbahn-wegen-klimaschutz-14870342.html#GEPC;s3

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Third runway of the Vienna-Schwechat airport can not be built

In the view of the Federal Administrative Court, the high CO 2 load is countered by the positive aspects – a project submitted 10 years ago is not eligible for the BVwG.

The Federal Administrative Court states that the application for the construction and operation of the planned third runway at Vienna Schwechat Airport has been rejected. The investigation results of the decision of the authorities of the project filed ten years ago were subjected to a new, comprehensive review, with the participation of experts, in the course of the appeal proceedings by the Federal Administrative Court.

The competent Senate, consisting of three judges, has decided, after a detailed examination and consideration of the public interest, that the public interest in protection against the negative effects of climate change, in particular the high CO 2 pollution, is to be assessed higher than the positive public (Location policy and labor market policy) interests in the realization of the project together with additional needs.

The construction of the third runway at Vienna Schwechat Airport and the increase in air traffic would lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Austria. This is achieved by taking into account the emissions during take-off and landing operations as well as the greenhouse gas emissions after reaching the airports. From the point of view of the Federal Administrative Court, this high additional CO 2 -loading is not justified against the positive aspects of the project.

The Judges ‘Council dealt with complaints from a total of 28 different complainants (private individuals, citizens’ initiatives and the City of Vienna) and examined the various aspects of the location and labor market policy, the need for increasing flight movements and the question of air safety in the complaints procedure. A three-day oral hearing was held and a total of seven comprehensive expert opinions (air pollutants, noise protection, birdwatching, environmental hygiene, transport planning, greenhouse gas emissions and demand planning) were commissioned.

In this decision, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the Austrian Federal Constitution and the Lower Austrian Land Constitution have given high priority to environmental protection, in particular climate protection, and Austria has committed itself internationally and nationally to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and sectoral emission levels within the framework of the Climate Protection Act By 2020. The possibilities of the airport to reduce CO 2emissions by means of its own measures (such as the installation of solar or photovoltaic systems or the conversion of the car fleet to electric cars) were not sufficient.

There were no fundamental questions of law in the proceedings, so a proper revision was not allowed.

The realization of the Federal Administrative Court is on the website of BVwG under www.bvwg.gv.at

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https://www.bvwg.gv.at/presse/dritte_piste_des_flughafens_wien.html

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Opponents in Austria delighted by court decision to ban Vienna 3rd runway due to CO2, but airport may appeal

Austria’s Federal Administrative Court has blocked Vienna airport’s plans for a 3rd runway because of the extra greenhouse gas emissions it would have caused, and unacceptable loss of agricultural land. The airport and its allies are furious and have sworn to break this ruling. Legally they should not be able to because ordinary appeal was excluded. They must overcome the very high hurdles of an extraordinary appeal, but opponents fear they will try to get this. The appeal would have to make transparent what is at stake: is Austria going to take climate change seriously or not? In the UK we have the same problem, but our courts are clearly not mandated in the same way in relation to climate change (air quality is separate). Calculations show the 3rd runway, with its traffic projections, would have been by far the most polluting project in terms of GHG-emissions, and would have destroyed several hundred hectares of agricultural land – needed to grow food. Some of the Austrian media are taking the line that such a decision is not to be made by the court but by politicians, and that the Austrian economy should be more important than the climate. So the airport and Vienna city (20% shareholder of the Vienna airport stock corporation) want to appeal. Opponents are worried.

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Earlier – and some more information about the runway:

Vienna Airport originally projected that it would need a third runway by 2012, or 2016 at the latest, in the event of cooperation with nearby Bratislava Airport.  It currently projects that a third runway will be necessary by 2025, however, environmental organizations and some local communities oppose construction. These groups have attacked the decision of Lower Austria (the state in which the airport is located) to move ahead with the first phase of construction; verdict from the administrative court that has taken up the lawsuit was expected later in 2015. As of September 2016, there are ongoing public protests while still no legal decision had been made. Now the court has decided.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_International_Airport


 

Objections to plans for a 3rd runway at Vienna airport

Vienna airport has plans for a third runway, saying it is necessary due to increasing numbers of passengers etc.  In July a consultation process started, on the environmental impact assessment. This has now closed, and there have been at least 25 appeals sent in.  The second phase of the decision process will be handled by the Department of the Environment.  Realistically, a final decision on the runway will not happen before 2014/15.  Expansion opponents fear that their objections will not be listened to. A spokesman for the initiative opposing the  runway plans said a few weeks ago that the construction of the road is already a foregone conclusion. The airport’s dialogue forum says residents groups are happy that more stringent noise and night flight regulations had been incorporated than provided by law.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2012/09/airbus-puts-a380-freighter-on-hold-as-orders-dry-up/

 

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Pope: CO₂ compensation for air travel is hypocrisy

Pope Francis has denounced the CO₂ compensation for air travel as hypocritical. He said: “The planes pollute the atmosphere, but with a fraction of the sum of the ticket price trees are planted to compensate for the damage inflicted.” If this logic were extended, one day it would come to a point where armaments companies set up hospitals for those children who fell victim to their bombs. “This is hypocrisy.” He said this was one of the greatest ethical problems of today’s capitalism, that industries were producing waste and then trying to conceal it or treat it to make it invisible. He demanded an economic system that would not only reduce the number of victims, but also require no sacrifices or offsets at all. He was speaking to about 1000 entrepreneurs from around the world who are committed to the social economy. With offset schemes for air travel, passengers can transfer money to so-called compensation agencies. The amount of the sum is generally determined by the distance, consumption and seating class. The agencies then invest the money in climate protection projects in developing countries. Critics see in this practice a modern form of indulgences, which leads to increased flights. 
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Pope: CO₂ compensation for air travel is hypocrisy

4.2.2017 (Suddeutscher Zeitung – Germany)

Pope Francis denounces the CO₂ compensation for air travel as a hypocrisy. With this logic, armaments companies could also set up hospitals for those children who fell victim to their bombs.

Pope Francis has denounced the CO₂ compensation for air travel as hypocritical. “The planes pollute the atmosphere, but with a fraction of the sum of the ticket price trees are planted to compensate for the damage inflicted,” he said in the Vatican. If this logic were to go to the top, one day it would come to a point where armaments companies set up hospitals for those children who fell victim to their bombs. “This is hypocrisy,” the Pope said.

It is the greatest ethical problem of today’s capitalism, Francis continued to say that he was producing waste and then trying to conceal it or treat it to make it invisible. He demanded an economic system that would not only reduce the number of victims, but also bring about no sacrifices at all. Occasion of the remarks of Francis was an audience for about 1000 entrepreneurs from around the world who are committed to the social economy.

2016 but fly was more popular than ever. The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) in Geneva recorded an overall on all airlines 3.7 billion passengers. This was an increase of 6.3 percent. This was due to IATA data, that the price per ticket compared to last year by an average of 44 Dollar (currently 41Euro) has fallen. Another factor was therefore the establishment of 700 new routes. “The demand for air travel continues to grow,” said IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac. He called on governments to work with the aviation industry to provide the necessary infrastructure. Under this assumption, there is great potential for growth and new jobs – but also for climate-damaging CO₂ emissions.

Passengers can transfer money to so-called compensation agencies. The amount of the sum is generally determined by the distance, consumption and seating class. The agencies then invest the money in climate protection projects in developing countries. Critics see in this practice a modern form of indulgences, which leads to increased flights.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/reise/fluege-papst-co-kompensation-fuer-flugreisen-ist-heuchelei-1.3364175

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See earlier:

ICAO’s aviation offsetting deal is a weak start – now countries must go further to cut CO2

A deal was finally agreed by ICAO on 6th October. It was progress, in that there had never been any sort of agreement on global aviation CO2 emissions before. But it was not a great deal – and far too weak to provide the necessary restriction on the growth of global aviation CO2. It came in the same week that the Paris Agreement crossed its crucial threshold to enter into force, but the ICAO deleted key provisions for the deal to align its ambitions with the Paris aim of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees with best efforts to not exceed 1.5 degrees C. Tim Johnson, Director of AEF and the lead representative of The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) – the official environmental civil society observer at the global negotiations, said in relation to the UK: “But while today’s deal is applauded, this international effort falls well short of the effort required to bring UK aviation emissions in line with the Climate Change Act. With a decision on a new runway expected later this month, the UK’s ambition for aviation emissions must match the ambition of the Climate Change Act, and not simply the ICAO global lowest common denominator of carbon neutral growth from 2020. The ICAO scheme could make a contribution towards the ambition of the Climate Change Act, but it does not solve the whole problem.”

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MEPs shocked by ‘secretive’ and unacceptably unambitious ICAO plan to cut aviation CO2 emissions

A meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment has been told of the way a possible agreement by ICAO next month – on global aviation carbon emissions – has been watered down. MEPs were informed of the likely 6-year delay, with the scheme for a global market based mechanism (GMBM) not taking effect properly until 2027, rather than in 2021 that had been foreseen. Opt-in to the GMBM scheme before 2027 would be voluntary, but mandatory from 2027 through to 2035. There will be exemptions for poor nations, and even after 2027 the participation of the least developed countries and small island states would remain voluntary only. EU deputies said they were “shocked” to learn how many concessions the EU was prepared to make at the Montreal meeting, which took place in May behind closed doors. Then, to make matters yet worse, “a special review in 2032 will determine whether the mechanism will be continued,” taking into account progress made as part of a related “basket of measures” which includes “CO2 standards for aircraft”, technological improvements, air traffic management and alternative fuels.  In a rare show of unity, Parliament representatives from across the political spectrum urged the EU to be more aggressive in the negotiation. Bas Eckhout, a Dutch MEP, said what is on offer now is not acceptable.

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