Willie Walsh making the right noises on IAG’s small future fuel efficiency improvements per passenger

British Airways and IAG have not been at the forefront of trying to achieve progress on limiting their airline CO2 emissions. BA is still a long way behind even some other airlines in its fuel efficiency, per passenger-kilometre.  A 2014 fuel efficiency ranking of the top 20 transatlantic airlines released by the ICCT put British Airways in last place. The report calculated that its fleet using an average of 51% more fuel for each kilometre travelled than top ranked Norwegian Airlines, while Spanish carrier Iberia – also owned by IAG – used 30% more. BA was also not among the signatories of an open letter, published in November and signed by 28 airline bosses, calling for a market-based solution for tackling aviation emissions.  Now Willie Walsh says he has a target for IAG of an 8% cut in per-passenger CO2 by 2020 compared to 2015. This is per passenger emissions, while the total number of  passengers grows. ie. a net increase in emissions. Tim Johnson, from the AEF, commented:  “Any deal must be environmentally effective, and ambitious enough to reduce aviation emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.”  ICAO predicts the CO2 emissions from global aviation could rise by 68% from their 2010 level by  2020.
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British Airways owner sets emissions target and calls for global aviation climate deal

by Jocelyn Timperley

17 February 2016

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The boss of British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced plans to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per passenger on its flights.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Monday, Willie Walsh laid out his target for IAG to reduce its per-passenger emissions 8% by 2020 compared to 2015. [This is per passenger emissions, while the total number of  passengers grows. ie. a net increase in emissions.  AW note].

He also called for governments and other carriers to support a proposal from the UN’s aviation agency for a global deal to cut emissions from the aviation industry.

“A fair, uniform system will give aviation a clear and direct financial incentive to develop cleaner aircraft, [“cleaner” aircraft is an odd term which is used to imply lower carbon aircraft] switch to low-carbon fuels and introduce more efficient air traffic systems that eradicate unnecessary flying,” he said. “No other industry has anything like as comprehensive a scheme for reducing its global CO2 footprint.”  [Really? Few other industries are not included in the global deal under the Paris Agreement.  AW note]

A global deal for aviation carbon emissions is the only way the industry can continue to meet demand sustainably, he added.

However, the sector has previously faced criticism from green groups for making slow progress in developing an international carbon pricing mechanism, lobbying for continued airport expansion, and opposing regional market-based mechanisms for curbing emissions, such as the EU’s inclusion of aviation in its emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Even with the new pledge, British Airways still has a significant amount of progress to make to catch up with industry leaders in cutting its per passenger emissions.

A 2014 fuel efficiency ranking of the top 20 transatlantic airlines released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) put British Airways in last place. The report calculated that its fleet using an average of 51% more fuel for each kilometre travelled than top ranked Norwegian Airlines, while Spanish carrier Iberia – also owned by IAG – used 30% more.

British Airways was also not among the signatories of an open letter, published in November and signed by 28 airline bosses, calling for a market-based solution for tackling aviation emissions.

Last week the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said its work to produce an official international carbon standard for aircraft is making “further and important headway”, with the agency hopeful it will be adopted by its 36-State Governing Council.

The new standard would apply to any new aircraft designs from 2020, as well as deliveries of current in-production aircraft designs from 2023.

A group of international experts on the ICAO’s committee has also recommended that the standard be applied to all new aircraft from 2028 – effectively banning the production of the most inefficient models.

However, green groups criticised the proposed standard for not going far enough and allowing less efficient models to continue to be sold for much of the next decade.

“Willie Walsh is right to call for governments to support a global deal on aviation CO2 emissions, but an agreement should not come at any cost,” Tim Johnson, director of the Aviation Environment Federation and lead representative of the NGO presence at the ICAO meetings, told BusinessGreen. “Any deal must be environmentally effective, and ambitious enough to reduce aviation emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.”

“Even if an effective deal is struck at the UN meeting in the autumn, academic studies indicate that additional measures, including passenger demand management, may still be needed to help reduce aviation emissions in the future, especially as 40% of the sector’s global emissions come from domestic aviation that will be excluded from any deal. This issue isn’t being discussed by industry or governments at the moment.”

“The aviation sector currently produces around 2% of global CO2 emissions, emitting 448 megatonnes in 2010, but the ICAO predicts this could increase to as much as 755 megatonnes in 2020, [a 68% increase from 2010 – in just 10 years] when the industry hopes to first achieve “carbon neutral growth”.

If no action is taken to reduce its footprint the industry could be emitting 1,800 megatonnes by 2040, according to the ICAO.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2447344/british-airways-owner-sets-emissions-target-and-calls-for-global-aviation-climate-deal

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See also

 

ICAO proposal to slightly reduce CO2 emissions from new planes, only after 2023, not seen as sufficiently ambitious

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation agency, has approved the first-ever binding agreement to achieve CO2 emissions reductions from new aircraft. New efficiency standards will apply to all new commercial jets delivered after 2028, as well as existing jets produced from 2023. This might achieve a cut in CO2 of about 4% in cruise fuel consumption, compared to the level in 2015. This is a very low level of ambition. Environmental groups, specifically the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) said the proposed standards were a missed opportunity and would have little real effect in curbing emissions. The standard excludes aircraft that are already in use, and as most airlines have lifetimes of 20-30 years, it will take decades to cover the current fleet. ICCT says some of the top performing commercial aircraft were already achieving the standard – with room to spare. By 2020, 8 years before the proposed standards were even due to come into effect, the average aircraft would already be 10% more efficient than the ICAO standard. ICAO recognised that “the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.” However, this does very little to achieve that. The exclusion high CO2 emitting international aviation and shipping was a major weakness of the Paris Agreement in December.

Click here to view full story…

 

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ICAO proposal to slightly reduce CO2 emissions from new planes, only after 2023, not seen as sufficiently ambitious

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation agency, has approved the first-ever binding agreement to achieve CO2 emissions reductions from new aircraft. New efficiency standards will apply to all new commercial jets delivered after 2028, as well as existing jets produced from 2023. This might achieve a cut in CO2 of about 4% in cruise fuel consumption, compared to the level in 2015. This is a very low level of ambition. Environmental groups, specifically the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) said the proposed standards were a missed opportunity and would have little real effect in curbing emissions. The standard excludes aircraft that are already in use, and as most airlines have lifetimes of 20-30 years, it will take decades to cover the current fleet. ICCT says some of the top performing commercial aircraft were already achieving the standard – with room to spare. By 2020, 8 years before the proposed standards were even due to come into effect, the average aircraft would already be 10% more efficient than the ICAO standard.  ICAO recognised that “the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.” However, this does very little to achieve that. The exclusion high CO2 emitting international aviation and shipping was a major weakness of the Paris Agreement in December.
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Global initiative introduces first proposal to reduce airplane pollution

International Civil Aviation Organisation plan of 4% fuel reduction of new aircraft starting in 2028 not enough to halt emissions, environmental groups say

by Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington (Guardian)

8.2.2016

Governments proposed for the first time on Monday to reduce climate pollution from airplanes, plugging one of the biggest loopholes in last December’s landmark Paris agreement.

The global initiative was a first attempt to halt carbon emissions from air travel – one of the fastest growing sources of climate pollution.

In a call with reporters, White House officials described the standards as “a huge deal”, noting that the aviation authority has also proposed an aspirational goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

But campaign groups, specifically the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), said the proposed standards were a missed opportunity and would have little real effect in curbing emissions.

The standards proposed at an expert meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) in Montreal would apply to all new commercial and business aircraft delivered after 1 January 2028.

But they exclude aircraft that are already in use, and as most airlines have lifetimes of 20-30 years, it will take decades to cover the current fleet.

In addition, the standards would on average require only a 4% reduction in the cruise fuel consumption of new aircraft, compared to 2015.

The proposals will be put to countries for formal adoption next year.

Icao said the standard was aimed at larger aircraft, which were responsible for the vast majority of global aviation emissions.

“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international CO2 emissions,” Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the Icao council said.

“We also recognize that the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.”

The exclusion of high-polluting industries such as international aviation and shipping was seen as a major weakness of the historic agreement reached last December.

Currently, air travel and shipping together account for about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but are projected to account for about 30% by 2050. But emerging economies had balked at the idea of including shipping and aviation in the Paris agreement, and so negotiators left them out of the deal.

White House officials said they were satisfied with the proposed standard – given the range of countries’ positions. The European Union and some emerging economics had been reluctant to take stronger action. “This is a really a strong result,” the officials said. “It’s the first ever CO2 standards for aircraft covering existing aircraft.”

But campaign groups suggested the Icao recommendations would do very little to rein in emissions – and in some cases lagged behind technology that was already in use.

According to an analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation, (ICCT) some of the top performing commercial aircraft were already achieving the standard – with room to spare. By 2020, eight years before the proposed standards were even due to come into effect, the average aircraft would already be 10% more efficient than the Icao standard.

“Given the substantial lead time for the standards, along with anticipated fuel efficiency gains for new aircraft types already in development by manufacturers, the standards will serve primarily to prevent backsliding in emissions,” ICCT said in a statement. “Additional action would be required for the standard to reduce emissions below business as usual.”

Vera Pardee, an attorney for the Centre for Biological Diversity, said the proposed standard put an additional burden on the Obama administration to make good on earlier promises to cut aviation emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency had been waiting for Icao to bring in its standards before moving to cut emissions from the domestic airline industry.

However, the White House would not say whether the EPA would propose those new domestic standards before Barack Obama leaves the White House.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/08/airplane-pollution-emissions-new-global-standards

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A Hollow Agreement on Aviation Emissions

By JAD MOUAWAD (New York Times)

15.2.2016

If the global goals laid out at the recent Paris climate conference are to be met, curbing aviation emissions is critical. But don’t expect last week’s agreement to set the first standards for airplanes to make a big dent. In fact, it will do little to reduce the rise in emissions from airlines, the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation agency, approved the first-ever binding agreement to cover emissions for aircraft. New efficiency standards will apply to all new commercial jets delivered after 2028, as well as existing jets produced from 2023.

The rub is that the long-awaited standard is lower than what the industry is on track to achieve anyway in the next decade.

As it stands, the most advanced jets being built by Boeing and Airbus (such as the twin-aisle B787s and A350s, or the newest versions of the narrow-body B737s and A320s) already meet or exceed this new efficiency goal.

About two decades after aviation started talking about limiting carbon emissions, and after six years of negotiations, the result is lower than “business as usual.”

All this matters given the size of aviation and the industry’s growth, with airlines projected to add 50,000 new large planes to meet rising demand for air travel around the world by the middle of the century.

While carbon-intensive industries like automobiles or power plants are being forced into significant emissions cuts over the next decades, the aviation deal appears to give air travel a pass.

There’s a fair bit of secrecy surrounding the civil aviation group’s process, and the Montreal-based organization won’t disclose details about the new standards until a formal vote scheduled in the fall.

This kind of secrecy as well as the reliance on standards crafted by the industry means questions and finger-pointing.

“Everything this week has been political,” said Bill Hemmings, the director of aviation and shipping at Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based environmental group, speaking last week about the negotiations. “It has been horse-trading of a massive nature, done in secret, all behind completely closed doors.”

The White House, which is eager to emphasize American leadership in fighting climate change, has put a positive spin on the deal.

Even those with the most to lose — the manufacturers and airlines — heaped praise on the agreement, which they said comes in addition to voluntary measures they have taken to increase fuel efficiency.

Airplane makers point out that they hardly need incentives to develop more efficient planes and not gas-guzzlers. Airlines have been pressing for planes that deliver savings on fuel — and therefore on emissions — for years.

Julie Felgar, a senior Boeing manager dealing with environmental issues, said Boeing had made a 70% reduction in fuel use since the dawn of the jet age, as well as a 90% reduction in noise. “And we don’t see that technology curve slowing down,” she said.

Both Boeing and Airbus, for example, have developed new versions of their best-selling single-aisle planes with the latest generation of efficient jet engines, which they say are 20 to 25% more efficient than earlier generations.

Both are also betting on a new generation of airplanes with lighter airframes that can also improve fuel economy — and emissions — by about 20 percent. Boeing has more than 1,100 787 Dreamliners on order and already delivered about 370 aircraft around the world. Airbus has so far delivered 15 of the more than 770 A350s it has on order.

But there is also some skepticism that airplane makers can keep churning out new and revolutionary designs. Because they were stung by the high cost and technical problems encountered while developing the 787, the opposite may be true.

Boeing’s chairman said two years ago that the company would seek to avoid more “moon shots” — by which he meant leapfrogging technologies — and would focus instead on producing planes more efficiently and more cheaply.

Many participants said the International Civil Aviation Organization could raise its standard in the future. But so far, aviation has contributed little to the effort to tackle climate change. As the Center for Biological Diversity said in a report, “That failure undermines global climate efforts and is neither fair nor justifiable.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/business/energy-environment/a-hollow-agreement-on-aviation-emissions.html?_r=0

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Countries Embrace New Rules to Limit Airline Emissions

February 9th, 2016

The United States and 22 other countries on Monday struck a first-ever international agreement to cut carbon emissions from commercial airplanes as a way to reduce their impact on climate change.

The agreement, announced by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, calls for a 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption from new commercial aircraft built after 2028 and from aircraft currently in production delivered after 2023.

The standards aim to cut carbon emissions from airplanes by more than 650 million tons between 2020 and 2040, roughly the same as the emissions from 140 million cars, according to a White House statement.

The ICAO is withholding specific details of the standards — including the ways in which airplanes will be required to emit less carbon — until its 36-state governing council can officially adopt the rules late this week or next, ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said.

 

Commercial airplanes are major emitters of the carbon dioxide contributing to climate change, accounting for 11% of all emissions from the global transportation sector. Those emissions are expected to grow by about 50% by mid-century as the demand for air travel increases worldwide.

The new standards are even more important as climate change warms the atmosphere, forcing aircraft to deal with more violent turbulence and increasing flight times and weight restrictions.

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study published last year shows that climate change will increase wind speeds in some areas of the globe. That could lead to airplanes burning more fuel as they fly into winds. Total global carbon dioxide emissions could increase by 0.03 percent as round-trip flight times across the globe increase, according to the study.

To deal with those conditions, fuel efficient aircraft will be needed. Already, new efficient aircraft types are being built and developed — variants of Boeing’s 787 and the Airbus A350, for example — and they’re likely to meet or exceed the emissions standards proposed this week.

“The goal of this process is ultimately to ensure that when the next generation of aircraft types enter service, there will be guaranteed reductions in international CO2 emissions,” ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said in a statement. ”The projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably.”

White House officials said in a statement that the standards are part of a comprehensive approach to reducing aviation emissions through new technology and alternative fuels.

Reaction to the international agreement was mixed on Tuesday. Airlines For America, an aviation industry trade group, called the new standards ambitious.

“They will further support our global aviation coalition’s emissions goals to achieve 1.5 percent annual average fuel efficiency improvements through 2020 and carbon neutral growth from 2020,” Nancy Young, Airlines For America’s vice president of environmental affairs, said.

Environmental groups were blunt with their criticism.

“These standards set the bar embarrassingly low, ensuring that almost all aircraft will already meet the requirements well before they go into effect in 2023,” said Sarah Burt, an Earthjustice legal expert on aircraft pollution. “The aviation industry is sandbagging, which seriously hinders our efforts to meet the commitments we made in Paris.”

Dan Rutherford, director of marine and aviation at the International Council on Clean Transportation, said the new standards amount to only incremental emissions reductions through 2028.

Although they are likely to promote the development of more fuel efficient aircraft in the coming years, they’re a missed opportunity because new airplanes already in development exceed the fuel efficiency standards announced this week, he said.

Boeing, Airbus and other airplane manufacturers began developing new fuel efficient airplanes a decade ago that are just being delivered to airlines. But with oil prices lower than they’ve been in more than a decade, the new standards may help ensure that the airlines and airplane builders will continue to focus on fuel efficient aircraft, Rutherford said.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/countries-embrace-new-rules-airline-emissions-20007

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ICAO trying to negotiate standards for fuel efficiency requirements for new and future planes

Talks are going on – till 12th February – in Montreal at ICAO, on global fuel efficiency standards for aircraft. The proposals would mean makers of the world’s largest passenger jets would be forced to upgrade models currently in production, or stop producing certain models as early as 2023 (or maybe 2028). Planes currently flying are not included. Big improvements in aircraft CO2 emissions are needed, as the sector was left out of the Paris agreement. The sector intends to continue growing fast – with emissions rising much faster than any feasible fuel efficiencies. As well as the fuel efficiency of planes, ICAO is meant to be (after 6 years) finalising a “market-based mechanism” for all airlines later this year – as a two-part strategy. There are differences between countries on how tight the fuel efficiency standard should be, on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the best). The US and Canada are pushing for more stringent targets than the EU. Environmental groups say the EU is dragging its feet. Airbus may have to change the engines on the A380, and the Boeing 747-8 may no longer be produced. Aircraft makers are not keen on having to make costly improvements to planes now in production. The tougher standard for new designs could go into effect by 2020.

Click here to view full story…

 

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NASA JPL scientist explains why he gave up flying: “I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly.”

Academics fly a lot, and there is the presumption that this is essential for their work and for international university connections etc. A climate scientist, Dr Peter Kalmus (who works for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) has decided that his own lifestyle is not consistent with his understanding of rising anthropogenic carbon emissions. “I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to non-humans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly.” He says: “I experienced a lot of social pressure to fly, so it took me three years to quit. Not flying for vacations was relatively easy.” Long trips by road to  visit family were a bit harder. He comments that he knows scientists who fly a lot, but “just don’t think about it” and “most people simply don’t know the huge impact of their flying—but I also suspect that many of us are addicted to it.  We’ve come to see flying as an inalienable right, a benefit of 21st-century living that we take for granted.”  “In today’s world, we’re still socially rewarded for burning fossil fuels. We equate frequent flying with success; we rack up our “miles.” This is backward: Burning fossil fuels does real harm to the biosphere, to our children, and to countless generations—and it should, therefore, be regarded as socially unacceptable.”
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How Far Can We Get Without Flying?

When a climate scientist decided to stop flying to cut his carbon emissions, he caught a glimpse of the post-oil future
By Dr Peter Kalmus (an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
11.2.2016   (Yes Magazine)
I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly. I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to non-humans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly. Back in 2010, though, I was awash in cognitive dissonance. My awareness of global warming had risen to a fever pitch, but I hadn’t yet made real changes to my daily life. This disconnect made me feel panicked and disempowered.

Hour for hour, there’s no better way to warm the planet than to fly in a plane.

Then one evening in 2011, I gathered my utility bills and did some Internet research. I looked up the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by burning a gallon of gasoline and a therm (about 100 cubic feet) of natural gas, I found an estimate for emissions from producing the food for a typical American diet and an estimate for generating a kilowatt-hour of electricity in California, and I averaged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Environmental Protection Agency estimates for CO2 emissions per mile from flying. With these data, I made a basic pie chart of my personal greenhouse gas emissions for 2010.

This picture came as a surprise. I’d assumed that electricity and driving were my largest sources of emissions. Instead, it turned out that the 50,000 miles I’d flown that year (two international and half a dozen domestic flights, typical for postdocs in the sciences who are expected to attend conferences and meetings) utterly dominated my emissions.

YES! Infographic

Hour for hour, there’s no better way to warm the planet than to fly in a plane. If you fly coach [economy class] from Los Angeles to Paris and back, you’ve just emitted 3 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, 10 times what an average Kenyan emits in an entire year. Flying first class doubles these numbers.

However, the total climate impact of planes is likely two to three times greater than the impact from the CO2 emissions alone. This is because planes emit mono-nitrogen oxides into the upper troposphere, form contrails, and seed cirrus clouds with aerosols from fuel combustion. These three effects enhance warming in the short term. (Note that the charts in this article exclude these effects.)

Given the high climate impact, why is it that so many environmentalists still choose to fly so much? I know climate activists who fly a hundred thousand miles per year. I know scientists who fly about as much but “just don’t think about it.”

I even have a friend who blogged on the importance of bringing reusable water bottles on flights in order to pre-empt the miniature disposable bottles of water the attendants hand out. Although she saved around 0.04 kilograms of CO2 by refusing the disposable bottle, her flight to Asia emitted more than 4,000 kilograms, equivalent to some 100,000 bottles.

I suspect that most people simply don’t know the huge impact of their flying—but I also suspect that many of us are addicted to it. We’ve come to see flying as an inalienable right, a benefit of 21st-century living that we take for granted.

The quantitative estimates of my emissions guided me as I set about resolving the dissonance between my principles and my actions. I began to change my daily life. I began to change myself.

My first change was to start bicycling. I began by biking the 6 miles to work, which turned out to be much more fun than driving (and about as fast). It felt like flying. Those extra few pounds melted off. Statistically speaking, I can expect biking to add a year to my life through reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

YES! Illustration by Jennifer Luxton.

Other moves away from fossil fuels turned out to be satisfying as well. I began growing food, first in the backyard and then in the front, and I discovered that homegrown food tastes far better than anything you can buy. I began composting, an honest and philosophical practice. I tried vegetarianism and found that I prefer it to eating meat; I have more energy, and food somehow tastes better. I began keeping bees and chickens, planting fruit trees, rescuing discarded food, reusing greywater, and helping others in my community do the same.

 

I stopped taking food, water, air, fuel, electricity, clothing, community, and biodiversity for granted. I became grateful for every moment and more aware of how my thoughts and actions in this moment connect to other moments and to other beings.

I began to experience that everyday things are miracles: an avocado, a frame of honeycomb crowded with bees, a conversation with my son. Now, I feel more connected to the world around me, and I see that fossil fuels actually stood in the way of realizing those connections. If you take one idea from this article, let it be this: Life without fossil fuels is fun and satisfying, and this is the best reason to change.

But none of these changes had the quantitative impact of quitting flying. By 2013, my annual emissions had fallen well below the global mean.

I experienced a lot of social pressure to fly, so it took me three years to quit.

I experienced a lot of social pressure to fly, so it took me three years to quit. Not flying for vacations was relatively easy. I live in California, and my wife and I love backpacking. We drive on waste vegetable oil, but even normal cars are better than flying. Four people on a plane produce 10 to 20 times as much CO2 as those same people driving a 25 to 50 mpg car the same distance.

My wife and I drive 2,000 veggie oil miles to Illinois each year to visit our parents. Along the way, we sleep under the stars in the Utah wilderness. This is adventure travel, the opposite of fast travel, and it has deepened my relationship with my parents. After such a journey, I more easily see how precious my time with them is.

Not flying is an ongoing challenge as I progress in my scientific career, but I’m finding that I can thrive by doing good work and making the most of regional conferences and teleconferencing.

Not flying does hold back my career to some extent, but I accept this, and I expect the social climate to change as more scientists stop flying.

YES! Infographic

In today’s world, we’re still socially rewarded for burning fossil fuels. We equate frequent flying with success; we rack up our “miles.” This is backward: Burning fossil fuels does real harm to the biosphere, to our children, and to countless generations—and it should, therefore, be regarded as socially unacceptable.

In the post-carbon future, it’s unlikely that there will be commercial plane travel on today’s scale.

Biofuel is currently the only petroleum substitute suitable for commercial flight. In practice, this means waste vegetable oil, but there isn’t enough to go around. In 2010, the world produced 216 million gallons of jet fuel per day but only about half as much vegetable oil, much of which is eaten; leftover oil from fryers is already in high demand. This suggests that even if we were to squander our limited biofuel on planes, only the ultra-rich would be able to afford them.

Instead, chances are that we’ll live nearer to our friends and loved ones, and we won’t be expected to travel so far for work. Those both seem like good things to me.

With the world population approaching 8 billion, my reduction obviously can’t solve global warming. But by changing ourselves in more than merely incremental ways, I believe we contribute to opening social and political space for large-scale change.

We tell a new story by changing how we live.

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Dr. Peter Kalmus wrote this article for Life After Oil, the Spring 2016 issue of YES! Magazine. Peter is an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (speaking on his own behalf) and a contributing editor for YES! Magazine. This article draws on material from a forthcoming book about our interconnected ecological predicament. A working draft is available to read here.

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See also 

Kevin Anderson blog on decisions of academics and climate community about personal travel

In a blog in June 2014, Professor Kevin Anderson writes about the need for people to consider their own behaviour in relation to flying. He is personally highly conscious of his own energy use.  He looks in particular at academics and those in the climate change community, and their justification for the use of high carbon travel. These are some quotes: “Amongst academics, NGOs, green-business gurus and climate change policy makers, there is little collective sense of either the urgency of change needed or of our being complicit in the grim situation we now face.”  And on the desire to fly to save time to spend with our families: “When we’re dead and buried our children will likely still be here dealing with the legacy of our inaction today; do we discount their futures at such a rate as to always favour those family activities that we can join in with?”  And “Surely if humankind is to respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by soaring emissions, we, as a community, should be a catalyst for change – behaving as if we believe in our own research, campaign objectives etc. – rather than simply acting as a bellwether of society’s complacency.”  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/kevin-anderson-blog-on-decisions-of-academics-and-climate-community-about-personal-travel/

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Petition set up by academics from many countries asks universities across the world to reduce flying

A group of 56 scholars has launched a petition calling on universities and academic professional associations to greatly reduce flying-related footprint as part of effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The academic group believe there is a need for collective action to improve the climate profile of academic communities. A petition has been set up, asking universities, institutions of higher education and professional associations to greatly reduce their flying. It appreciates that for academics to fly less, it requires their colleagues to change behaviour.  There is an expectation to attend meetings and conferences. The petition asks universities etc to include all university-related flying (whether directly paid by the university or by others) in their environmental impact measurement and goal-setting.  Also to support and work to realize marked reductions in flying by faculty, staff, and students commensurate with the cuts suggested by climate science. And to establish and publish short- and medium-term benchmarks for reductions. The petition originators hope universities etc will use their influence with professional associations to reduce reliance on flying for academic and research conferencing. Professor Kevin Anderson, a respected UK climate scientist, has already written and spoken often on this subject, and does not fly to conferences.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/petition-origination-from-usa-asks-academics-and-universities-to-reduce-flying/

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Aviation emissions must be accounted for in carbon budgets, AEF says in evidence to CCC

The Committee on Climate Change put out a call for evidence last year, on its 5th Carbon Budget, which will cover the period 2028-32.  The Government must legislate the level of the 5th Carbon Budget by June 2016. The CCC has recommended that the CO2 emissions from international aviation must be accounted for in the setting of the 5th carbon budget to provide the appropriate framework for future climate change policy. But the CO2 emissions from international shipping are fully included. AEF, the Aviation Environment Federation, say it is particularly important to have aviation CO2 properly included now as the Government has indicated its theoretical support for a new runway in the South East, which could significantly increase the scale of the UK aviation emissions challenge. It is disappointing that the CCC did not recommend formal inclusion of aviation in the carbon budget, which would provide greater certainty in relation to the sector’s future development. AEF believes that the CCC’s recommended approach of setting the budget with a view to aviation’s formal inclusion in future budgets provides a ‘next best’ alternative. The CCC has long recommended that in order to allow for aviation’s future inclusion in carbon budgets, Government should plan on the assumption that emissions from the sector in 2050 should not exceed their level in 2005 – 37.5 MtCO2 – allowing for a 60% growth in aviation passengers between 2005 and 2050.
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Aviation emissions must be accounted for in carbon budgets, AEF tells parliamentary committee

The Energy and Climate Select Committee has published evidence submitted in response to its inquiry into the fifth carbon budget. AEF’s response argues for the importance of accounting for aviation emissions in carbon budgets, as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The Energy and Climate Committee – a cross party group of MPs – is considering the advice of the CCC and the challenges likely to face the Government in delivering the budget.

Carbon budgets cover five-year periods and ensure that the UK is on-track to deliver the legislated long-term target of an 80% cut in total emissions by 2050. The Government must decide on the fifth carbon budget by June this year, taking account of the CCC’s advice published in November. CCC’s recommendations for the overall level of carbon budgets have so far all been approved by Government.

AEF’s submission to the inquiry supports the CCC’s recommendation that aviation emissions must be accounted for in the setting of the fifth carbon budget to provide the appropriate framework for future climate change policy. Following the CCC’s recommendation ensures that aviation emissions remain part of the overall UK picture. We argue that this is particularly important now as the Government has indicated its theoretical support for a new runway in the South East, which could significantly increase the scale of the UK aviation emissions challenge.

We were disappointed that the CCC did not recommend formal inclusion of aviation in the carbon budget, which would provide greater certainty in relation to the sector’s future development. However, we believe that the CCC’s recommended approach of setting the budget with a view to aviation’s formal inclusion in future budgets provides a ‘next best’ alternative.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/02/10/aviation-emissions-must-be-accounted-for-in-carbon-budgets-aef-tells-parliamentary-committee/


Download the AEF response:

‘Response from the Aviation Environment Federation to the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s inquiry into the Fifth Carbon Budget’.

 


All the responses to the CCC call for evidence on the 5th carbon budget can be seen at 

https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/the-fifth-carbon-budget-responses-to-ccc-call-for-evidence/


The CCC says:

“This report presents the Committee’s advice on the fifth carbon budget, covering the period 2028-32, as required under Section 34 of the Climate Change Act 2008.

The Committee recommends that the fifth carbon budget is set at 1,765 MtCO2e, including emissions from international shipping, over the period 2028-2032. That would limit annual emissions to an average 57% below 1990 levels. This balances a range of factors the Committee must consider, keeps the UK on its cost-effective path to the 2050 legislated commitment to reduce UK emissions by 80% on 1990 levels, and continues the UK’s historical rate of emissions reduction.

To date, in line with advice from the Committee, four carbon budgets have been legislated. The Government must legislate the level of the fifth carbon budget by June 2016.

The Climate Change Act sets out how the Committee is legally required to advise on, and how the Government must set, carbon budgets. In particular the budgets: • “must be set with a view to meeting … the target for 2050”; and  [among a large number of other things] it m ust take account of “the estimated amount of reportable emissions from international aviation and international shipping for the budgetary period or periods in question”. ”

And it says:

“International aviation should continue to be allowed for in the size of the budget for other sectors, but not formally included. We recommend that the budget should be met without recourse to carbon units (i.e. credits).”

It says: 

“Recommendation: On the current scope of carbon budgets (i.e. without formally including emissions from international aviation and shipping), we recommend a fifth carbon budget level of 1,725 MtCO2 e, implying emissions in 2030 57% below those in 1990.”

The CCC’s proposed budget:  “Allows for emissions from international aviation and international shipping, whether or not the government decides to include them formally in carbon budgets.”

and

“On international aviation, we recommend that it is not included at this stage; we will provide further advice following decisions expected at ICAO in 2016, and recommend that the Government revisit inclusion at that point.”

More detail at 

https://documents.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Fifth-Carbon-Budget_Ch6_Budget-recommendation.pdf


 

Written evidence submitted by the Aviation Environment Federation (FCB0013)

We warmly welcome the opportunity to provide evidence to the Committee’s inquiry into the fifth carbon budget. Given our interest and expertise as an organisation, we have responded only in relation to the appropriate treatment of international aviation emissions under the Climate Change Act.

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the principal UK NGO concerned exclusively with the environmental impacts of aviation. As well as supporting our members with local issues, we have regular input into international, EU and UK policy discussions. We engaged with the Airports Commission throughout its work programme, including being called to give evidence on climate change to a panel of commissioners in July 2013, and we provided both written and oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee in relation to its recent inquiry into the policy implications of the climate change, noise and air quality impacts of Heathrow expansion. At the UN we are the lead representative of the environmental umbrella organisation ICSA, which is actively engaged in the current talks aimed at agreeing global climate measures for aviation.

Our submission to this enquiry supports the CCC’s recommendation that aviation emissions must be accounted for in the setting of the fifth carbon budget, effectively increasing its stringency for other sectors while ensuring that aviation emissions remain part of the overall UK picture. With the Government having indicated its theoretical support for a new runway in the South East, which could significantly increase the scale of the UK aviation emissions challenge, it is particularly important that the fifth carbon budget reflects the need for aviation to play a part in delivering the 80% emissions cut to which the UK is legally committed in order to provide the appropriate framework for future policy. While we are disappointed that the CCC has not recommended formal inclusion of aviation in the budget, which would provide greater certainty in relation to the sector’s future development, we consider the CCC’s recommended approach of setting the budget with a view to aviation’s formal inclusion in future budgets to provide a ‘next best’ alternative.

………. and the response can be seen in full at

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/energy-and-climate-change-committee/setting-the-fifth-carbon-budget/written/27931.pdf

It is a long response, but to just take a short extract from it – copied below

AEF says: 
AEF strongly supports the CCC’s recommendation that the 2050 target enshrined in the Climate Change Act should apply to all sectors including aviation, and that the level of the fifth carbon budget must reflect this.

The Climate Change Act treats emissions from international aviation and shipping differently from those of other sectors (and from domestic aviation emissions), on the basis that the accounting methodology for these emissions was unclear when the Act came into force. Until these methodological issues are resolved, emissions from international aviation and shipping are not formally included in carbon budgets.

Nevertheless the Act requires that

(i) emissions from these sectors should be included as soon as possible, and
(ii) in the interim they must be taken into account in the setting of carbon budgets for other sectors.

This reflects an understanding that in order for the UK to deliver its fair share of climate mitigation, it must ensure that the economy-wide 80% emissions cut applies to all sectors of the economy. EU wide targets similarly apply to all sectors, including aviation.

The CCC has long recommended that in order to allow for aviation’s future inclusion in carbon budgets, Government should plan on the assumption that emissions from the sector in 2050 should not exceed their level in 2005 – 37.5 MtCO2 – allowing for a 60% growth in aviation passengers between 2005 and 2050. AEF considers this a generous target. In June 2015 the CCC recommended that Government should by 2016 set out a policy plan for delivering the target. Since this is a less stringent target than the economy-wide 80% cut in 1990 levels of emissions, other sectors would need to make up the shortfall by delivering emissions cuts of 85% on average.

The Government’s legislated carbon budgets so far reflect the need for emissions from aviation to be included in the long term by setting aside ‘headroom’ for them in line with this recommendation. Similarly the Government’s statement in 2012 on the treatment of aviation and shipping emissions under the Climate Change Act specifies that “Government reaffirms its overall commitment to the 2050 target and recognises that emissions from international aviation and shipping should be treated the same as emissions from all other sectors, in order to reach our long-term climate goals.” It is important that the Government continues to account for aviation in this way.

Formal inclusion of international aviation in the fifth carbon budget would be desirable and – we believe – possible, but is less important than ensuring its emissions are accounted for.

While CCC had previously recommended formal inclusion of international aviation emissions in carbon budgets, the advice from November 2015 was that given recent changes to the policy landscape, inclusion of these emissions should be postponed.

Specifically, CCC argued, the fact that aviation’s inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading
System has been scaled back pending possible agreement at the UN’s aviation body this October on a global ‘Market Based Measure’ (MBM) for aviation makes it hard at present to define an appropriate accounting methodology for aviation in the context of carbon budgets.

AEF made the case, in response to the CCC’s call for evidence on the fifth carbon budget, for aviation’s inclusion in the fifth and future carbon budgets on the basis that this would provide certainty in relation to the working assumption that aviation must be included in the 2050 160 Mt emissions target for the UK as a whole.

We argued both that (i) complications in relation to the approach to accounting for aviation emissions will have been removed prior to the commencement of the fifth carbon budget in 2028 and that (ii) in fact, whatever the outcome of current policy discussions, a solution can be drawn up to tackle emissions, with various possible approaches available.

It remains our view that formal inclusion of international aviation in the fifth carbon budget is both possible and desirable. Nevertheless it is not critical as long as the current approach of setting aside headroom with a view to the sector’s future inclusion is continued, and as long as the Government accepts the need to develop appropriate policy measures to ensure that emissions from the sector are on a path consistent with the long term goal. Should it become apparent that other sectors are not on a path to delivering 85% emissions cuts, or should the overall ambition of the Act be increased, or should a methodology be agreed for including aviation’s non-CO2 effects on climate change alongside CO2, the leniency afforded to aviation may have to be reviewed in future.

….. the full AEF response is at

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/energy-and-climate-change-committee/setting-the-fifth-carbon-budget/written/27931.pdf

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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/12/environmental-audit-committee-says-government-must-act-by-2016-to-ensure-aviation-carbon-cap-it-met/

 


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

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

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/committee-on-climate-change-says-additional-policies-are-needed-to-keep-uk-aviation-co2-below-37-5mtco2-cap/

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Faster jet stream, due to climate change, could make transatlantic flights slower (and costlier)

Carbon emissions from global aviation are known to worsen climate change – but now climate change is set to worsen flight times, according to new research. Climate change is likely to cause a faster jet stream, and that will add thousands of hours to journey times and increase airline fuel bills.  Dr Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading, combined climate models with the software used by aviation companies to calculate the best routes each day. This showed the impact of a 15% faster jet stream, with flights from Europe toward the USA taking somewhat longer, against the wind. The wind could help speed the flights going eastwards, but the overall impact is a longer round trip.  There are currently about 300 round trips per day, across the Atlantic, meaning the delay adds up to about 2,000 extra flying hours per year, $22m in extra fuel and 70m extra kilogrammes of CO2 emitted.  Earlier work showed other impacts of rising temperatures on aviation, including bumpier, more turbulent flights and reducing the weight planes can carry. The impact of the faster jet stream will mean worse environmental impacts from aviation, as well as raising ticket prices. The jet stream also occurs in other part of the northern hemisphere, and in the southern hemisphere, and would have the same effect on planes there.
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Winds of climate change will make transatlantic flights longer, study shows

Faster jet stream will add thousands of hours to journey times and increase airline fuel bills

By Damian Carrington (Guardian)

10.2.2016

Airline flights are known to worsen climate change but now climate change is set to worsen flight times, according to new research.

The work shows faster jet stream winds will delay transatlantic flights, adding thousands of hours a year to journey times and millions of dollars to airline fuel bills. Earlier work showed other impacts of rising temperatures on aviation, including bumpier, more turbulent flights and reducing the weight planes can carry.

Climate change is increasing the speed of the jet stream, a strong high-altitude wind that blows west to east across the Atlantic. Pilots harness the jet stream to get from the US to Europe more quickly, but have to battle it on the return journey, which currently takes an hour longer.

Dr Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading, UK, combined the software used by aviation companies to calculate the best routes each day with climate models to reveal the impact of warming on flight times.

The faster jet stream slowed eastbound transatlantic flights more than it speeded up westbound flights, leading to round trips that were on average a minute and 18 seconds longer. There are currently 300 round trips a day, meaning the delay adds up to 2,000 extra hours year, $22m in extra fuel and 70m extra kilogrammes of CO2 emitted.

“The aviation industry is facing pressure to reduce its environmental impacts, but this study shows a new way in which aviation is itself susceptible to the effects of climate change,” Williams said. “This effect will increase the fuel costs to airlines, potentially raising ticket prices, and it will worsen the environmental impacts of aviation.” Fuel costs are a critical factor in the competitiveness of airlines.

“The jet stream is does not just live in the Atlantic, it goes all the way around the world and there is another one in the southern hemisphere too,” Williams said. “So it is plausible that similar flight routes around the world will be affected and when you look at those numbers, it is just enormous.”

Carbon emissions from aviation are a significant and fast growing factor in driving global warming. On Monday, governments proposed for the first time to reduce future emissions from airplanes, although campaigners said the new standards would have little real effect.

The new research, published in Environmental Research Letters, examined flights between London’s Heathrow airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International and calculated the impact of a 15% increase in the speed of the jet stream, which is expected in the next few decades unless current carbon emissions are heavily cut.

William’s calculated more than 1.3m flight paths in simulations covering 40 years and found that while New York to London flights were on average four minutes faster, the return flights were five minutes and 18 seconds longer. This was because planes slowed down by the jet stream spend more time fighting the headwind, while those sped up by it spend less time getting the boost.

The current record for the fastest (non-Concorde) transatlantic flight – five hours and 16 minutes, set in 2015 – was assisted by an unusually fast jet stream. Williams said passengers should expect that record to be broken more often, but they should also expect more frequent very slow flights of over seven hours. Climate change will approximately double the chances of both, he said.

The jet stream is driven by the temperature difference at high altitudes between the polar region and the equator. Satellite measurements have already shown that climate change is increasing this temperature difference. “We know the jet stream is getting stronger,” said Williams. “This is good hard science that we understand very well.”

Changes to the northern hemisphere jet stream have also been linked to extreme rainfall and flooding in the UK and heavy snowfalls in the US.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/10/climate-change-will-make-transatlantic-flights-longer-study-shows

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See earlier:

Research shows climate change will lead to more clear air turbulence and bumpier flights

Climate change will lead to bumpier flights caused by increased mid-air turbulence, according to an analysis by scientists, at the University of Reading, of the impact of global warming on weather systems over the next 40 years. The study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The increasing clear air turbulence results from the impact of climate change on the jet streams, which are at the altitude at which airliners fly.  The jet streams are driven by the temperature difference between the poles and the tropics. More turbulence will cause more injuries to passengers and aircrew every year, as well as delays and damage to planes. There is an estimate of this costing some £100m each year. The Reading study indicated the frequency of turbulence on trans-Atlantic flights will double by 2050 and its intensity increase by 10-40%. Rerouting flights to avoid stronger patches of turbulence could increase fuel consumption and carbon emissions, make delays at airports more common, and ultimately push up ticket prices.  Ironic. Aviation helps drive climate change – and gets some of its adverse impacts. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/04/turbulence-bumpier/

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ICAO trying to negotiate standards for fuel efficiency requirements for new and future planes

Talks are going on – till 12th February –  in Montreal at ICAO, on global fuel efficiency standards for aircraft. The proposals would mean makers of the world’s largest passenger jets would be forced to upgrade models currently in production, or stop producing certain models as early as 2023 (or maybe 2028).  Planes currently flying are not included. Big improvements in aircraft CO2 emissions are needed, as the sector was left out of the Paris agreement. The sector intends to continue growing fast – with emissions rising much faster than any feasible fuel efficiencies. As well as the fuel efficiency of planes, ICAO is meant to be (after 6 years) finalising a “market-based mechanism” for all airlines later this year – as a two-part strategy.  There are differences between countries on how tight the fuel efficiency standard should be, on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the best). The US and Canada are pushing for more stringent targets than the EU. Environmental groups say the EU is dragging its feet.  Airbus may have to change the engines on the A380, and the Boeing 747-8 may no longer be produced. Aircraft makers are not keen on having to make costly improvements to planes now in production.  The tougher standard for new designs could go into effect by 2020.

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Environmental groups said the standard will boost efficiency, but it will only make a small dent on the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are projected to triple or quadruple from current levels by 2040.

They say the standard needs to be accompanied by a strong global market-based approach.

 

UN agency seeks to end rift on new aircraft emission rules

7.2.2016 (Reuters)

MONTREAL/WASHINGTON

Europe and the United States tried to bridge differences over emissions standards for aircraft on Sunday as global aviation leaders prepared to adopt new rules that could affect Boeing Co and Airbus Group’s production of the largest jetliners and freighters.

Proposals being debated in Montreal by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation agency, would force makers of the world’s largest passenger jets to upgrade or stop producing certain models as early as 2023, according to sources close to the negotiations and documents seen by Reuters.

U.S. and European negotiators are trying to come up with the world’s first carbon dioxide emissions standards for aircraft as part of the industry’s contribution to efforts to combat climate change.

Aviation was not included in the global climate deal agreed by a UN conference in Paris in December, but ICAO is trying to nail down the first of its two-part strategy as soon as Monday after six years of talks. It is due to finalize a market-based mechanism for all airlines later this year.

Differences remain on where to place the bar on efficiency, with the United States and Canada pushing for more stringent targets than the European Union, while environmental groups have accused Europe of dragging its feet.

“The CO2 standard will push industry to be as fuel-efficient as possible in all market conditions to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and the impact of aviation on climate change,” stated the Canadian paper presented at ICAO last week.

The proposals could revive pressure on European planemaker Airbus to upgrade the world’s largest passenger jet, the A380 superjumbo, with new engines. Airbus recently examined that proposal to boost sales, but it has dropped down its list of priorities.

It could also spell the end for Boeing’s struggling 747-8 passenger jet and freighter and force the U.S. planemaker to upgrade at least one of its two smaller freighters.

Airbus and Boeing declined to comment on negotiations.

The Montreal talks, which run until Feb. 12, are designed to set ambitious rules for new types of aircraft in the future.

A less stringent standard would apply to aircraft already in production, but this has led to the fiercest arguments since some of these planes would need to have costly improvements.

The fuel efficiency standards would apply to smaller business and regional jets, along with larger commercial planes weighing at least 60 tonnes that account for the majority of aviation sector emissions, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The rules for in-production aircraft would come into effect by 2023, but could also be phased in over a five-year period until 2028, one source said. The tougher standard for new designs could go into effect by 2020.

Participants have been weighing 10 different options for new targets, with one being the weakest and 10 requiring the greatest reduction in emissions, the documents seen by Reuters showed.

European representatives have said they will not back a standard higher than 6 on large planes in production.

The United States and Canada had initially backed options 8 and 9 but said they would not budge below a 7, and at one stage did not rule out breaking off talks, the sources said. However, on Sunday some progress was reported in narrowing differences.

Tougher standards have higher cost implications for planemakers.

While Airbus and Boeing have already planned more fuel-efficient upgrades to most of their programs, including the popular A320 and B737, some jets would have to be upgraded or cease being produced by as early as 2023.

“They’re not content,” one delegate said of the jetmakers.

A question mark remained over the current-generation wide-body jets produced by Airbus and Boeing, the A330 and 777-300ER.

Both are likely to be superseded by new models before 2023, but aviation analysts have said recent market experience and low oil prices suggest demand for older jets can be resilient.

Environmental groups said the standard will boost efficiency, but it will only make a small dent on the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are projected to triple or quadruple from current levels by 2040.

They say the standard needs to be accompanied by a strong global market-based approach.

(Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris and Alwyn Scott in Seattle; Editing by Bill Rigby)

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See earlier:

Europe falls behind US in new plans to tackle CO2 emissions from planes

The aviation industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a European Parliament study. However, Europe’s proposals for a landmark international fuel efficiency standard for aircraft would save considerably less carbon emissions than those put forward by the US. The US plan could cut emissions by 37.5%, and the EU proposal by 33%. The 4.5% gap is equal to 350 million tonnes of CO2, worldwide, per year – which is slightly more than Spain emits every year. The standard could mark a turning point for efforts to regulate fast-growing CO2 emissions from aircraft, which are not covered by December’s much-hailed Paris climate agreement. The standard would only apply to planes produced after 2020, meaning the planes currently being used – or ordered now – would not be included.  Both the US and the EU proposals are going to ICAO, for consideration, next month. ICAO is looking at two approaches to reducing the rate of increase of aviation emissions; a market-based mechanism – MBM – (meaning trading, so airlines have to pay for their CO2); and improving the fuel efficiency of engines and aircraft. ICAO will be working on these this year, with the full council meeting in September, for a possible approval of an MBM in 2017.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/01/europe-falls-behind-us-in-new-plans-to-tackle-co2-emissions-from-planes/


 

 

New study by ICCT show new plane fuel efficiency gains are more than a decade late for UN ICAO goal

group, T&E, say that since 2010, the average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by 1.1% per year, which suggests that aircraft manufacturers may miss UN aviation body ICAO’s 2020 fuel efficiency goals by 12 years. This has been show by a new study by the ICCT. IATA forecasts 4.1% annual growth of global aviation for the next 20 years. By contrast, the 1.1% progress in fuel efficiency of new commercial jets falls way behind the progress needed to meet ICAO’s targets. The gap between 4.1% growth and 1.1% improvement is massive. Since 2009 ICAO has been working on a CO2 standard for new aircraft to boost fuel efficiency technology in the fleet. Work should be completed in 2016, with the standard for new commercial jets taking effect in 2020. Decisions on the actual stringency of the standard are due over the next months. T&E said: “ICAO must help airlines meet their own climate goals and agree a COstandard that actually forces new technology in the fleet, rather than doing business as usual….. It’s a no brainer for ICAO to agree a global market-based measure that drives fuel prices up steadily over time.”  More progress in fuel efficiency strongly correlates with higher fuel prices. Aviation’s massive CO2 emissions are projected to triple by 2050. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/09/new-study-by-icct-show-new-plane-fuel-efficiency-gains-are-more-than-a-decade-late-for-un-icao-goal/

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Overall fuel efficiency of US airlines fails to improve on domestic routes during 2013, finds ICCT study

An annual performance study by the ICCT shows the fuel efficiency of US carriers on domestic routes failed to improve in 2013.  ICCT found little correlation between airline efficiency and profitability, and is concerned that as fuel prices steady or even fall there will even less incentive to make fuel efficiency gains.  Even less efficient carriers were also able to make  high profits through using older, less fuel efficient aircraft.   ICCT’s analysis shows the average annual fuel efficiency between 1990 and 2000 improved by 2.1%, improving to 2.8% between 2000 and 2010 and then fell back to 1.3% between 2010 and 2012.  Load factors rose from 60% in 1990 to 82% in 2010, but have flattened out in recent years.  The US aircraft fleet is ageing, with fewer new planes. The price of oil has fallen markedly in the past year, and may remain low for some time, due to US oil production. There is concern there will be less incentive, with cheaper fuel, to make energy savings. Or meet the IATA goal of 1.5% energy improvements annually to 2020.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/overall-fuel-efficiency-of-us-airlines-fails-to-improve-on-domestic-routes-during-2013-finds-icct-study/

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First EU-wide report on aviation’s environmental impacts shows growing challenges

A new report by European environment and aviation agencies – the European Aviation Environmental Report  – has been published, by the European Environment Agency, and EASA. The aim of the initiative is to “monitor, promote and strengthen the EU’s efforts for a more sustainable European aviation sector.” The report looks at a range of issues for European aviation, including its noise impact, its carbon emissions, and local air quality. It is aware that “the historic rate of improvement in various areas (e.g. technology and design) has not kept pace with past growth in the demand for air travel leading to increased overall pressures (e.g. emissions, noise) on the environment, and this trend is forecast to continue.” The report is aware that future growth of the sector, out to 2035, will require environmental improvements. On noise, the report says around 5 million people in Europe were exposed to aircraft noise levels above 55 dBA Lden in 2012. While average jet aircraft noise decreased by around 4 dB per decade since 1960, the improvement has recently slowed to 2 dB per decade.  On carbon emissions, the report says CO2 emissions from aviation have increased by around 77% between 1990 and 2005 and a further 5% from 2005 to 2014. They are likely to rise by a further 45% up to 2035. They note that biofuel development has been slow, and that a market based mechanism for global aviation carbon emissions is needed.
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First EU-wide report on aviation’s environmental impacts shows growing challenges

A new report by European environment and aviation agencies – the European Aviation Environmental Report  – has found that the growth in European air traffic has outstripped technological and operational improvements over the past 25 years, leading to increased environmental pressures which are forecast to intensify out to 2035.

The report is a collaboration between the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EUROCONTROL (see the end of this article for an explanation about each of their roles in EU aviation policy).

The trends

Between 1990 and 2005, the extent of environmental impacts – noise, CO2 emissions and air pollution – and the number of flights grew at similar rates. However, emissions and noise exposure today remain around the same as in 2005 due primarily to the economic downturn in 2008 that has seen little change in the number of flights.

A major change that has occurred since 2005 is as a result of changing airline practises: the average number of passengers per flight increased from 87 in 2005 to 113 in 2014. This has meant that passenger numbers grew by around 25% between 2005 and 2014, while the actual number of flights declined by 0.5%. The lack of a relationship between passenger growth and the number of flights is one of the arguments used in AEF’s recent report: ‘The Runway Myth’.

Comparison of trends (since 2005 and out to 2035) in noise, CO2, NOx, passenger numbers, and flights. Source: European Aviation Environmental Report

Comparison of trends (since 2005 and out to 2035) in noise, CO2, NOx, passenger numbers, and flights. Source: European Aviation Environmental Report

The impacts

Aircraft noise

Around 2.5 million people were exposed to aircraft noise levels above 55 dBA Lden (which is the level EU members states are required to map and report noise under the Environmental Noise Directive) in 2014 but this figure was only for the 45 major European airports which had submitted noise exposure data to the European Commission. The actual figure, according to the report, was around 5 million people in 2012.

While average jet aircraft noise decreased by around 4 dB per decade since 1960, the improvement has recently slowed to 2 dB per decade. As a result, the population exposed to noise above 55 dBA Lden (measured over 24 hours) decreased by only 2% between 2005 and 2014. The report highlights that new aircraft are quieter than previous generations with fleet renewal being a major factor contributing to reduced noise from a single flight. However, the population exposed to aircraft noise levels above 55 dBA Lden is forecast to increase by 15% up to 2035.

Changing practices associated with low cost carriers increasing the number of flights each aircraft makes a day (with the average number of flights per day per aircraft increasing from 3.1 in 2005 to 3.4 in 2014) have led to increases in morning and evening levels of aircraft noise as airlines attempt to fit in additional flights. AEF’s recent report on the health impacts of aircraft noise illustrates the impact of morning and evening flights on the health of children, shift workers and vulnerable populations.

CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions from aviation have increased by around 77% between 1990 and 2005 and a further 5% from 2005 to 2014, according to the report, and are forecast to grow by a further 45% up to 2035. This was despite the fact that average fuel burn per passenger kilometre flown for passenger aircraft, excluding business aviation, went down by 19% between 2005 and 2014.

The report emphasises several factors that are leading to increasing CO2 emissions from the aviation sector. Firstly, the fleet across Europe is slowly ageing, with the average age of aircraft increasing from 9.6 years in 2005 to 10.3 years in 2014. Low cost airlines tend to have newer fleets but all-cargo aircraft have an average age of 19 years.

A second factor is that the uptake of alternative fuels in the aviation sector has been “very slow”, states the report, despite the aviation industry promoting the importance of biofuels for addressing aviation emissions. Assistance for the industry has also come from the European Commission through the European Advanced Biofuels Flightpath which has an aim to produce two million tonnes of sustainably produced biofuel for civil aviation annually by 2020. The report notes that this target is “unlikely” to be met.

The report argues there is a need for market based measures, including the EU emissions trading scheme, to meet aviation’s emissions reduction targets as technological and operational improvements alone are not considered sufficient, mirroring previous analyses by ICAO.

Air pollution

A key finding in the report is that NOx emissions from aviation doubled between 1990 and 2014, and are forecast to grow by a further 43% between 2014 and 2035, posing a threat to public health.  According to the report, the aviation sector is now responsible for 14% of all EU transport NOx emissions, and 7% of the total EU NOx emissions, as other economic sectors have achieved significant reductions. The report says that improvements driven by new emissions standards (usually agreed by the UN body ICAO’s Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection) have come too slowly, indicating the importance of ambitious international environmental standards.

The Timing

The report’s launch coincides with the environment committee (CAEP) of the UN aviation body, ICAO, meeting in Montreal to decide on a CO2 standard for new aircraft, with Europe being pressured to show more ambition. AEF are present at the CAEP meeting to call for a CO2 standard that will drive reductions in emissions.

The new report also comes only a couple of months after the European Commission’s Aviation Strategy for Europe was published which gave little attention to the environmental impact of flying.


Download European Aviation Environmental Report 2016

Visit the website

Notes

Who’s who in the report?

  1. The European Commission – responsible for Directives and long-term targets that are intended to improve the environment in Europe by tackling air pollution, noise and CO2 emissions.
  2. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – responsible for introducing environmental and safety certification for aviation products, including adoption of international standards for noise and pollutants. EASA has been given the responsibility to update the European Aviation Environmental Report every three years to assess progress.
  3. The European Environment Agency (EEA) – provides independent information on the environment in Europe and has published reports on issues including exposure to noise across Europe.
  4. EUROCONTROL – responsible for air navigation across Europe

 

http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/02/03/first-eu-wide-report-on-aviations-environmental-impacts-shows-growing-challenges/

 


 

The report, by the European Environmental Agency, and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) – 84 pages

European Aviation Environmental Report 2016

The Welcome Message, from Violeta Bluc (European Commissioner for Transport) says:

It is my pleasure to welcome you to this first edition of the European Aviation Environmental Report. It is a valuable initiative to monitor, promote and strengthen the EU’s efforts for a more sustainable European aviation sector. This report is the result of a close collaboration between the European Commission, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Environment Agency and EUROCONTROL.The European Commission’s main ambition is to strengthen the EU air transport value network in order to enhance its competitiveness and make the sector more sustainable, which is why the Commission adopted ‘An Aviation Strategy for Europe’ in December 2015.

Aviation needs concerted, co-ordinated and consistent policy support, which can be delivered by the EU, with a shift in mindset. Europe must take a collective stance to tackle common challenges. In this respect, the task of finding many of the solutions lies as much with the industry as it does with the regulators who have the responsibility to provide an appropriate regulatory framework.

Europe is a leading player in international aviation and a global model for sustainable aviation, with a high level of service and ambitious EU standards. However the aviation sector’s contribution to climate change, air pollution and noise levels is under increasing scrutiny. In 2011, the Commission adopted a White Paper setting out ambitious decarbonisation objectives for the transport sector. This was taken one step further under the leadership of President Jean-Claude Juncker, by making a forward looking climate policy and a strong Energy Union one of the Commission’s top priorities.

I am confident that European aviation is taking on the challenge to contribute as much as possible to these efforts and I am convinced that innovation, both in technologies and business models will offer solutions to make aviation more sustainable. Good coordination and collaboration between the different aviation stakeholders, including policy makers and regulators, manufacturers, airlines and airport operators, air navigation service providers, non-governmental organisations and the public, are crucial.

The foundation of such an approach requires published, reliable and objective information, accessible to all. This first report marks an important step towards the regular monitoring of the overall environmental performance of the European aviation system. It will also support better coordination and collaboration within Europe on future priorities by feeding discussions on the effectiveness of different policies and measures already in place. Moreover, the Commission has proposed in its new European Aviation Safety Agency Regulation that the European Aviation Safety Agency publishes updates of this report.

 

Executive Summary

It is recognised that Europe’s aviation sector brings significant economic and social benefits. However its activities also contribute to climate change, noise and local air quality impacts, and consequently affect the health and quality of life of European citizens. The historic rate of improvement in various areas (e.g. technology and design) has not kept pace with past growth in the demand for air travel leading to increased overall pressures (e.g. emissions, noise) on the environment, and this trend is forecast to continue. Consequently the environmental challenge for the sector will increase, and future growth in the European aviation sector will be inextricably linked to its environmental sustainability.

A comprehensive and effective package of measures is required to continue to address this challenge in the coming years. The foundation of such an approach requires published, reliable and objective information, accessible to all, to inform discussions on how this challenge will be specifically addressed. This is the core objective of the European Aviation Environmental Report. Greater coordination to support subsequent editions will help to periodically monitor and report on the environmental performance of the European aviation sector.

Overview of Aviation Sector

• Number of flights has increased by 80% between 1990 and 2014, and is forecast to grow by a  further 45% between 2014 and 2035 .

• Environmental impacts of European aviation have increased over the past 25 years following the growth in air traffic.

• Mean aircraft age was about 10 years in 2014, but fleet is slowly ageing.

• Due to technological improvements, fleet renewal, increased Air Traffic Management efficiency and the 2008 economic downturn, emissions and noise exposure in 2014 were around 2005 levels.

• About 2.5 million people were exposed to noise at 45 major European airports in 2014 , and this is forecast to increase by 15% between 2014 and 2035.

• CO2 emissions have increased by about 80% between 1990 and 2014, and are forecast to grow by a further 45% between 2014 and 2035.

• NOX emissions have doubled between 1990 and 2014, and are forecast to grow by a further 43% between 2014 and 2035.

Technology and Design

• Jet aircraft noise levels have generally reduced by about 4 decibels per decade. The progress has recently slowed to about 2 decibels per decade, and this rate of improvement is expected to continue in the future.

• The future trend in noise improvements may be adversely influenced by a  new engine design known as a Counter-Rotating Open Rotor that is due to enter service around 2030. • More stringent aircraft noise limits and engine NOX emissions limits have been introduced over time to incentivise continuous improvement.

• Average NOX margin to CAEP/6 limit for in-production engine types has increased by about 15% over the last 5 years.

• Additional standards for aircraft CO2 emissions and aircraft engine particulate matter emissions are expected to enter into force in the near future.

Sustainable Alternative Fuels

• Uptake of sustainable alternative fuels in the aviation sector is very slow, but assumed to play a  large role in reducing aviation greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

• The European Advanced Biofuels Flightpath provides a  roadmap to achieve an annual production rate of 2 million tonnes of sustainably produced biofuel for civil aviation by 2020.

• European commercial flights have trialled sustainable alternative fuels. However regular production of sustainable aviation alternative fuels is projected to be very limited in the next few years, and thus it is unlikely that the roadmap 2020 target will be achieved.

Air Traffic Management and Operations

• European network handles 27,000 flights and 2.27 million passengers per day.

• Europe is investing heavily in modernising the air traffic management system through the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) programme which is the technological pillar of the EU Single European Sky (SES) legislative framework.

• En route and arrival operational efficiencies show a  moderate but steady reduction in additional distance flown, as does taxi-out times, thereby combining to reduce related excess CO2 emissions.

• SESAR deliverables will form the core of the European deployment of new operational capabilities which will contribute to achieving the SES Performance Scheme targets and high level goals as well as enhance global harmonisation and interoperability.

Airports

• 92 European airports are currently participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, and 20 of these airports are carbon neutral.

• 80% of passengers in Europe are handled via an airport with a certified environmental or quality management system.

• Involvement of all local stakeholders in the implementation of the balanced approach to aircraft noise management is recognised as a crucial factor in reducing the annoyance for people living near airports.

• By 2035, in the absence of continuing efforts, it is anticipated that some 20 major European airports will face significant congestion and related environmental impacts due to air traffic growth.

Market‑Based Measures

• Market-based measures are needed to meet aviation’s emissions reduction targets as technological and operational improvements alone are not considered sufficient.

• The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) currently covers all intra-European flights. This will contribute around 65 million tonnes of CO2 emission reductions between 2013 and 2016, achieved within the aviation sector and in other sectors.

• More than 100 airports in Europe have deployed noise and emissions charging schemes since the 1990s.

Adapting Aviation to a Changing Climate

• Climate change is a  risk for the European aviation sector as impacts are likely to include more frequent and more disruptive weather patterns as well as sea-level rise.

• Aviation sector needs to prepare for and develop resilience to these potential future impacts. Actions have been initiated at European, national and organisational levels.

• Pre-emptive action is likely to be cost-effective in comparison to addressing impacts as they occur in the future.

………….. and it continues …..  (84 pages)

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Read more »

ICAO rejects request by 5 MEPs to attend meeting on CO2 emissions from aviation

The UN’s agency for aviation, the ICAO, has a Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), that looks at the problem of carbon emissions from aviation globally. There will be a meeting of CAEP in Montreal, from 8 to 12 February.  Its aim is to talk about how offsetting CO2 emissions would work globally, how fuel burn will be measured, and who will be reported to.  It is a technical meeting to discuss moves to create a market-based mechanism to make airlines pay for their CO2 output. The CAEP will also look at greening planes, with a new fuel efficiency standard.  Now five MEPs (four from the Parliament’s Environment Committee and one from the Transport Committee) have requested, through the EC President, Jean-Claude Juncker, that they attend the meeting of CAEP, due to their interest in the CO2 emissions issue. However, their request has been rejected, though some MEPs will have a meeting in May. The CAEP drafts environmental rules and has 22 states and 15 observers, made up of other states, industry and one NGO. The way the UN process works is that the CAEP agrees a standard, which is then sent to the ICAO Council for formal approval. Nine of the 22 voting states are European. The  EU also contributes about one third of ICAO’s funding.
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Aviation is responsible for around 5% of the world’s global warming at present, and the industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a recent European Parliament study.

 

UN rejects EU request to attend green aviation meeting

By James Crisp

29.1.2016 (Euractiv)

Grounded. MEPs won’t be allowed to attend the UN aviation meeting.

The United Nations’ agency for aviation, the ICAO, has snubbed a request by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to allow MEPs to sit in on a crunch meeting to reduce the industry’s contribution to climate change.

Juncker applied for permission for the delegation of five lawmakers after European Parliament President Martin Schulz asked him to write to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The five MEPs, four from the Parliament’s Environment Committee and one from the Transport Committee, wanted to attend an ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). It will be held in Montreal, Canada, from 8 to 12 February.

The CAEP drafts environmental rules and has 22 states and 15 observers, made up of other states, industry and one NGO. It is a technical meeting to discuss moves to create a market-based mechanism to make airlines pay for their CO2 output.

Talks are expected to centre on how offsetting emission would work globally, how fuel burn will be measured, and who will be reported to.

A separate approach, due to be discussed next week focuses on greening planes with a new fuel efficiency standard.

The CAEP agrees a standard, to then be sent to the ICAO Council for formal approval. Nine of the 22 voting states are European, making the European position central to the final outcome, which is far from certain.

The ICAO has accepted a separate meeting request from seven members of the Transport Committee but not until May. It is likely to deal with a whole range of issues, such as safety, and not specifically the environment. A high level meeting on CO2 is scheduled the following week.

Aviation is responsible for around 5% of the world’s global warming at present, and the industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a recent European Parliament study.

The sector was not covered by the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, which secured an international agreement to cap global warming.

Knock-back

The denial – thought to be the first time the UN has knocked back such a request – was communicated to the European Commission on 22 January.

The CAEP said the meeting was very technical in nature, and that there was no precedent for elected observers to attend. Participants in the CAEP process should have the requisite technical background and expertise and the organisation has been cautious to ensure that political issues will not interfere, the letter said.

The snub is particularly stinging as EU countries contribute about a third (33.6%) of the ICAO’s costs. The US is the next largest contributor with 25%. The Commission does not finance ICAO but provides grants for projects of common interest, such as technical cooperation initiatives.

No comment

EurActiv’s request for comment from the ICAO was not immediately answered.

The five MEPs pencilled in to attend were Brits Julie Girling (European Conservatives and Reformists) and Seb Dance (Socialists & Democrats), Germans Matthias Groote (S&D) and Peter Liese (European People’s Party), and Belgian EPP member Ivo Belet.

The MEPs, including Dutch Green Bas Eickhout, plan to travel to Montreal anyway. They will meet ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu for talks. None were available to comment when contacted by EurActiv yesterday. Requests to Schulz’s office were also redirected. But sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the rejection.

Today (29 January), Girling said, “It’s disappointing that we won’t be able to join the formal meetings but we will be meeting will very senior members of ICAO and having many bilaterals. As the EU only has observer status at icao it is impossible to insist that MEPs are accredited.”

The Commission’s transport department informed the MEPs of the rejection. Allegations that the Juncker request was a month in the making could not be substantiated.

It is understood Juncker promised Schulz the Parliament would be kept informed of developments.

Officials said the European Union would have a representative at the CAEP meeting, but only with observer status.

Europe lagging?

Europe is calling for a considerably less ambitious carbon emissions standard for airplanes than the US in the new global push. The gap between the two proposals is greater than the annual emissions of most medium-sized European countries.

>>Read: Europe lags behind US in tackling CO2 emissions from planes

The story, broken by The Guardian, drew a furious rebuke from CAEP Secretary Jane Hupe.

In a communication seen by EurActiv, she wrote, “It is with dismay that yet again there has been a breach in the confidentiality of information developed by CAEP in the open media. […] This breach will not be taken lightly; we are already looking into it carefully,” she said.

Hupe warned, “The disrespect and abuse of the rules of engagement by some will require that stronger measures be taken to address such issues, which can even include the suspension of observership/membership.”

>Read:The greening of the airline industry

 

BACKGROUND

The airline sector, like the maritime sector, has its own UN agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which is responsible for organising the reduction of its CO2 emissions. ICAO was tasked by the Kyoto Protocol with addressing emissions from the sector.

It has been difficult to reach global agreement. In 2012, with no deal having been made, the EU included aviation emissions in its Emissions Trading Scheme. The decision sparked a backlash from the industry and foreign countries, like China and India who refused to comply with the scheme and threatened the EU with commercial retaliation measures.

The EU’s temporary halt to the ETS was intended to allow time for the ICAO to devise a global alternative. But in the meantime, international airlines which bitterly attacked the cap and trade scheme at every turn will be exempted from it, while intra-European airlines, which had supported it, will not.

>>Read: Hedegaard stops clock on aviation emissions law

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As a whole, the aviation industry continues to fiercely resist market-based measures as anything more than a stopgap, advocating instead a formula of technological and operational improvements – plus the wider use of biofuels – to reduce emissions.

Airlines make up 2% of worldwide CO2 emissions. But the doubling of passengers every 15 years has made it a growing source of greenhouse gases.

Due to the strong link between the sector and fossil fuels, reducing its CO2 emission is a challenge. The problem of electricity storage rules out its use in the air, which thus leaves airline manufacturers, which have promised to stabilise their CO2 emissions by 2020, with few options.

TIMELINE

Europe falls behind US in new plans to tackle CO2 emissions from planes

The aviation industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a European Parliament study. However, Europe’s proposals for a landmark international fuel efficiency standard for aircraft would save considerably less carbon emissions than those put forward by the US. The US plan could cut emissions by 37.5%, and the EU proposal by 33%. The 4.5% gap is equal to 350 million tonnes of CO2, worldwide, per year – which is slightly more than Spain emits every year. The standard could mark a turning point for efforts to regulate fast-growing CO2 emissions from aircraft, which are not covered by December’s much-hailed Paris climate agreement. The standard would only apply to planes produced after 2020, meaning the planes currently being used – or ordered now – would not be included. Both the US and the EU proposals are going to ICAO, for consideration, next month. ICAO is looking at two approaches to reducing the rate of increase of aviation emissions; a market-based mechanism – MBM – (meaning trading, so airlines have to pay for their CO2); and improving the fuel efficiency of engines and aircraft. ICAO will be working on these this year, with the full council meeting in September, for a possible approval of an MBM in 2017.

Click here to view full story…

The exclusion of international aviation & shipping CO2 from Paris COP21 deal makes 2°C limit close to impossible

The Paris climate agreement text has now dropped mention of international aviation and shipping. The weak statement that has been removed only said that parties might “pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” through ICAO “with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions, including developing procedures for incorporating emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels into low-emission development strategies.” Even that has gone, so there is no ambition for CO2 regulation. Transport & Environment (T&E) says this has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C. The CO2 emissions of these two sectors amount to about 8% of emissions globally. In recent years their emissions have grown twice as fast as the those of the global economy – an 80% rise in CO2 output from aviation and shipping between 1990 and 2010, versus 40% growth in CO2 emissions from global economic activity – and they are projected to grow by up to 270% in 2050. They could be 39% of global CO2 emissions by 2050 if left unregulated. After 18 years of being supposed to come up with measures to tackle aviation emissions, ICAO has done almost nothing – and little is expected of it.

Click here to view full story…

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“Heathrow13” climate protesters found guilty of aggravated trespass – sentencing 24th February, for possibly prison

Thirteen members of the Plane Stupid campaign group who occupied the eastern end of Heathrow’s northern runway on 13th July 2015 have been found guilty of aggravated trespass and entering a security-restricted area of an aerodrome. They have been told it is almost inevitable they will face a prison term. Their defence had been that their actions were intended to prevent death or serous illness to people. However, district judge Deborah Wright (who sat alone) said the cost of the disruption at Heathrow was “absolutely astronomical”. Those convicted were clapped and cheered as they left the court. They have been bailed to appear for sentencing on 24 February. A statement released by the #Heathrow13 following their convictions read: “Today’s judgement demonstrates that the legal system does not yet recognise that climate defence is not an offence. We took action because we saw that it was sorely needed. When the democratic, legislative and processes have failed, it takes the actions of ordinary people to change them.”  They say instead of the government taking action to cut carbon emissions, it is intending to spend millions making the problem bigger, if another runway is allowed. Though the judge recognised “They are all principled people” she considered what the protesters did was “symbolic and designed to make a point, not to save lives”.
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Heathrow climate protesters found guilty of aggravated trespass

Thirteen members of the Plane Stupid campaign group who blocked north runway at Heathrow in July 2015 told they are likely to face prison

Plane Stupid activists at the start of their court hearing. The 13 were found guilty of aggravated trespass.
Plane Stupid activists at the start of their court hearing. The 13 were found guilty of aggravated trespass. Photograph: Mark Kerrison/Demotix/Corbis

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Press Association
Monday 25 January 2016

Thirteen protesters who chained themselves to railings at the UK’s largest airport have been told it is almost inevitable they will be jailed for their actions.

Members of the Plane Stupid campaign group cut a hole in a fence and made their way on to the north runway at Heathrow in July last year. They were found guilty of aggravated trespass and entering a security-restricted area of an aerodrome.

Giving her verdict at Willesden magistrates’ court, district judge Deborah Wright said the cost of the disruption at the airport on 13 July 2015 was “absolutely astronomical”.

outside court

Outside court, after the verdict

The demonstrators had admitted being on the runway but claimed their actions were necessary to stop people dying from the effects of pollution and climate change. Supporters packed the public gallery this afternoon, with one calling proceedings “a farce” and others shouting “shame on you” at the judge.

Those convicted were clapped and cheered as they left the courtroom. They have been bailed to appear for sentencing on 24 February.

outside the court

Outside the court after the verdict – the press interview the activists

A statement released following their convictions read: “Today’s judgement demonstrates that the legal system does not yet recognise that climate defence is not an offence. We took action because we saw that it was sorely needed. When the democratic, legislative and processes have failed, it takes the actions of ordinary people to change them.”

“We are very grateful for all the messages of support and solidarity we have received from all over the world, and are immensely proud of the action we took to combat emissions from aviation. Climate change and air pollution from Heathrow are killing people now, and the government’s response is to spend millions making the problem bigger. As long as airport expansion is on the agenda, Plane Stupid will be here. We’re in it for the long haul.“

Heathrow heroes placard

One of the placards by supporters, outside the court

The demonstration at around 3.30am last July caused delays for passengers around the world and 25 flights were cancelled.

It came after a long-awaited report recommended a new runway should be built at Heathrow rather than Gatwick.

Judge Wright found that the demonstration must have been linked to the publication of that report.

Dismissing the defence that their actions were necessary, she said what the protesters did was “symbolic and designed to make a point, not to save lives”.

She said thousands of passengers had been affected by delays that day, and said there are continuing costs as a result of their actions with additional security measures put in place since the incident.

Judge Wright paid tribute to the demonstrators for their passion for environmental matters, saying: “They are all principled people.”

But she added the incident was so serious that it is “almost inevitable that you will all receive custodial sentences”.

Ms Wright said there had been times during the week-long trial when defendants seemed “at pains to make political points”.

She added: “I sincerely hope the court process has not been used as a political platform.”

The protesters had enjoyed the support of Green party leader, Natalie Bennett, on the first day of the trial, and shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, had been due to be called as a defence witness but was barred from doing so by the judge who deemed his statement irrelevant.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We welcome today’s verdict. Anyone who breaks the law and interferes with the safe and smooth operation of the airport can expect full prosecution under the law.”

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “Today, we stand in solidarity with the activists who have put their liberty on the line to protect us from the health and climate damage a new runway will cause. These campaigners have been found guilty in a court of law, but it’s pro-expansion politicians and aviation bosses that history will put in the dock – and the judgment won’t be kind.

“A third runway at Heathrow will exacerbate the air pollution crisis that’s already costing thousands of lives every year. And just weeks after the government signed a major climate deal in Paris, these activists are reminding us of the crucial international commitments we have made and should fulfil.”

Those convicted are Rebecca Sanderson, 28, of Newton Road, Machynlleth, Powys; Richard Hawkins, 32, and Kara Moses, 32, both of Heol y Doll, Machynlleth, Powys; Ella Gilbert, 23, of Magdalen Street, Norwich; Melanie Strickland, 32, of Borwick Avenue, Waltham Forest, north-east London; Danielle Paffard, 28, of Blenhiem Grove, Peckham, south-east London; Graham Thompson, 42, of Durlston Road, Hackney, north-east London; Sheila Menon, 44, of Pellerin Road, Hackney; Cameron Kaye, 23, Edward Thacker, 26, Alistair Tamlit, 27, and Sam Sender, 23, all of Kenwood Close, Sipson, West Drayton, west London; Robert Basto, 67, of Blackborough Road, Reigate, Surrey.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/25/heathrow-climate-protesters-found-guilty-of-aggravated-trespass

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NDDL and PS solidarity

The opponents of the planned airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes feel they share a common struggle with Plane Stupid


 

Earlier:

Dad of one of the #Heathrow13 sets out eloquently why we should be grateful for the climate warning they tried to give

The #Heathrow13 – the activists from “Plane Stupid” who carried out a protest on Heathrow’s northern runway in July 2015 – were in court on 18th January, and the Judge’s verdict was given on Monday 25th January. All were found guilty. Tim, the father of one of the activists, Rebecca Sanderson, has written about why (despite his earlier career working for an oil company) he is proud of what his daughter did, why he applauds their action, and why we should be grateful that they have tried to warn us about the climate dangers we face. Tim comments: “I am appalled by the apparently complete disconnect between what we know and what we do. …. There is now an overwhelming consensus that growth in carbon emissions could spell climatic disaster for our planet. Everyone apparently knows this ….. the general public, assiduously switch off mobile phone chargers and avoid over-filling the kettle. And then we feel so virtuous and pleased with ourselves that we book a flight to New Zealand, and wipe out all our emissions savings before we have even reached cruising altitude.” …. Tim makes the analogy of the “Railway Children” in which they trespass on the railway line waving a red flag, to prevent an accident. “The Heathrow Plane Stupid protesters have tried again to warn us. They have stepped onto the runway, and they have waved their red flags. They have trespassed, and we should be grateful to them.”

Click here to view full story…

Dad of one of the #Heathrow13 sets out eloquently why we should be grateful for the climate warning they tried to give

The #Heathrow13 – the activists from “Plane Stupid” who carried out a protest on Heathrow’s northern runway in July 2015 – were in court on 18th January, and the Judge’s verdict was given on Monday 25th January. All were found guilty. Tim, the father of one of the activists, Rebecca Sanderson, has written about why (despite his earlier career working for an oil company) he is proud of what his daughter did, why he applauds their action, and why we should be grateful that they have tried to warn us about the climate dangers we face. Tim comments: “I am appalled by the apparently complete disconnect between what we know and what we do. …. There is now an overwhelming consensus that growth in carbon emissions could spell climatic disaster for our planet. Everyone apparently knows this ….. the general public, assiduously switch off mobile phone chargers and avoid over-filling the kettle. And then we feel so virtuous and pleased with ourselves that we book a flight to New Zealand, and wipe out all our emissions savings before we have even reached cruising altitude.” …. Tim makes the analogy of the “Railway Children” in which they trespass on the railway line waving a red flag, to prevent an accident. “The Heathrow Plane Stupid protesters have tried again to warn us. They have stepped onto the runway, and they have waved their red flags. They have trespassed, and we should be grateful to them.”

Click here to view full story…

Supportive protest outside start of Plane Stupid’s #Heathrow13 trial for Heathrow incursion in July

The trial of the 13 members of Plane Stupid, who broke into Heathrow airport on 13th July, started at Willesden Magistrates Court on 18th. They are charged with Aggravated Trespass and entering a security restricted area. Their protest caused the cancellation of some 25 flights, which saved an estimated 250 tonnes of CO2. In doing so, they argue that helped to save lives in the Global South, by making a small cut in the emissions that fuel climate chaos. All 13 are pleading not guilty, and say their action was reasonable and justified in the climate context. They say “Climate defence is not an offence!” The judge hearing the case, by herself, is Judge Wright. The prosecution has been brought by the CPS. There was a large gathering outside the court, for the start of the trial, with many groups expressing their solidarity. This started with a short statement by the #Heathrow13 on their defence, before they entered the court to repeated chants of “No ifs, No Buts, No new runways!” Judge Wright declared that the fact that aviation fuel is linked to climate change is indisputable. The judge is looking at two issues: 1. Did the 13 genuinely believe their actions were necessary to prevent death or serious illness? And 2. Whether objectively their actions were reasonable and proportionate in order to prevent death or serious illness.

Click here to view full story…

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Europe falls behind US in new plans to tackle CO2 emissions from planes

The aviation industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a European Parliament study. However, Europe’s proposals for a landmark international fuel efficiency standard for aircraft would save considerably less carbon emissions than those put forward by the US. The US plan could cut emissions by 37.5%, and the EU proposal by 33%. The 4.5% gap is equal to 350 million tonnes of CO2, worldwide, per year – which is slightly more than Spain emits every year. The standard could mark a turning point for efforts to regulate fast-growing CO2 emissions from aircraft, which are not covered by December’s much-hailed Paris climate agreement. The standard would only apply to planes produced after 2020, meaning the planes currently being used – or ordered now – would not be included.  Both the US and the EU proposals are going to ICAO, for consideration, next month. ICAO is looking at two approaches to reducing the rate of increase of aviation emissions; a market-based mechanism – MBM – (meaning trading, so airlines have to pay for their CO2); and improving the fuel efficiency of engines and aircraft. ICAO will be working on these this year, with the full council meeting in September, for a possible approval of an MBM in 2017. 
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Europe falls behind US in new plans to tackle CO2 emissions from planes

Europe’s proposals for a landmark international fuel efficiency standard for aircraft would save considerably less carbon emissions than those put forward by the US

The aviation industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a European Parliament study

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Friday 22 January 2016 (Guardian)

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Europe is calling for a considerably less ambitious carbon emissions standard for airplanes than the US in a new global push to reduce aviation’s contribution to climate change, the Guardian has learned.

The standard would mark a turning point for efforts to regulate fast-growing emissions from airplanes, which are not covered by December’s much-hailed Paris climate agreement.

The milestone would apply to new models and existing aircraft put into production after 2020, but the EU’s preferred version would be less stringent than alternative US proposals, which the Guardian has also seen.

Both blueprints have been filed with the UN’s civil aviation agency, Icao, ahead of talks in Montreal next month.

“The US proposal is definitely more ambitious,” said Joris Melkert, a former flight test engineer and senior aerospace lecturer at Delft University in the Netherlands. “It would save more emissions, and the difference is quite considerable.”

The gap between the two proposals is greater than the annual emissions of most medium-sized European countries, and privately confirmed by EU officials.

Aviation is responsible for around 5% of the world’s global warming at present and the industry is growing so fast that, on current trends, it could make up 22% of global emissions by 2050, according to a recent European Parliament study.

The ICAO talks are pursuing a twin track approach of making airlines pay a cost for their CO2 output under a market-based scheme, [a market based scheme means some form of carbon trading] and greening aircraft with a new fuel efficiency standard.

The debate on the standard began in 2007 and proposals agreed in Montreal will be sent on to an Icao council for approval next year. “After many years, decision time has finally come,” one EU official said. “I believe that we are going to have an ambitious standard and I hope we can secure it next month.”

Airplanes emit CO2 in the process of burning engine fuel to provide a lift force that can overcome the aerodynamic drag created by wind resistance. For this reason, the ICAO proposals focus on measures to improve planes’ aerodynamics, lightness and engines.

Under the technical proposals, a stringency option of ‘9’ suggested by the US would reduce overall aircraft emissions by 37.5%, while the ‘7’ setting favoured by the EU would imply a 33% cut. The 4.5% gap is equal to 350m tonnes of CO2, or slightly more than Spain emits every year.

EU officials privately concede that their proposal is “the second most ambitious of the positions put on the table”. But they insist that it is still “quite close to the US one” and that the agreement’s small print on cargo aircraft and categorisations should not be overlooked.

Environmentalists argue that the involvement of the Environmental Protection Agency and an unshackled president Obama in the US has contributed to the relative weakness of the EU’s position.

But insiders in Brussels say that the sheer variety of complex issues still to be agreed – and the amount of aircraft manufacturing countries involved, from Brazil and Ukraine to India and China – make like-for-like comparisons unwise, and stringency factors of ‘10’ impossible.

“There are so many parameters to be decided that it creates a lot of pieces you can move around on a chessboard,” one EU source told the Guardian.

Europe has proposed a 60 tonne threshold for classifying aircraft, as this could cover 90% of emissions and apply to aircraft of the size of a Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 and above.

But the classification would be further sub-divided between new model types and those in production; jets ferrying 19 people or less, and planes carrying freight instead of passengers. Alternate starting dates of 2020 and 2023 for the benchmark are other options under discussion.

An EU source said: “We need a standard that reflects the state of art of the technology, that is as close as possible to what engineers are capable of doing, without going so high that a number of 60-tonne aircraft types would be put out of the market as that would be environmentally unhelpful, economically detrimental and also quite unfair, as lead-in times for aircraft take about 10 years.”

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/22/europe-falls-behind-us-new-plans-tackle-co2-emissions-planes?CMP=oth_b-aplnews_d-2

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Earlier:

The exclusion of international aviation & shipping CO2 from Paris COP21 deal makes 2°C limit close to impossible

The Paris climate agreement text has now dropped mention of international aviation and shipping. The weak statement that has been removed only said that parties might “pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” through ICAO “with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions, including developing procedures for incorporating emissions from international aviation and marine bunker fuels into low-emission development strategies.” Even that has gone, so there is no ambition for CO2 regulation. Transport & Environment (T&E) says this has fatally undermined the prospects of keeping global warming below 2°C. The CO2 emissions of these two sectors amount to about 8% of emissions globally. In recent years their emissions have grown twice as fast as the those of the global economy – an 80% rise in CO2 output from aviation and shipping between 1990 and 2010, versus 40% growth in CO2 emissions from global economic activity – and they are projected to grow by up to 270% in 2050. They could be 39% of global CO2 emissions by 2050 if left unregulated. After 18 years of being supposed to come up with measures to tackle aviation emissions, ICAO has done almost nothing – and little is expected of it.

Click here to view full story…

New study by ICCT show new plane fuel efficiency gains are more than a decade late for UN ICAO goal

The European group, T&E, say that since 2010, the average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by 1.1% per year, which suggests that aircraft manufacturers may miss UN aviation body ICAO’s 2020 fuel efficiency goals by 12 years. This has been show by a new study by the ICCT. IATA forecasts 4.1% annual growth of global aviation for the next 20 years. By contrast, the 1.1% progress in fuel efficiency of new commercial jets falls way behind the progress needed to meet ICAO’s targets. The gap between 4.1% growth and 1.1% improvement is massive. Since 2009 ICAO has been working on a CO2 standard for new aircraft to boost fuel efficiency technology in the fleet. Work should be completed in 2016, with the standard for new commercial jets taking effect in 2020. Decisions on the actual stringency of the standard are due over the next months. T&E said: “ICAO must help airlines meet their own climate goals and agree a CO2 standard that actually forces new technology in the fleet, rather than doing business as usual….. It’s a no brainer for ICAO to agree a global market-based measure that drives fuel prices up steadily over time.” More progress in fuel efficiency strongly correlates with higher fuel prices. Aviation’s massive CO2 emissions are projected to triple by 2050.

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Tom Burke article exposes the fallacy of hoping carbon pricing will lower CO2 emissions

The aviation industry is reluctantly realising it needs to cut its carbon emissions, and work is under way, through ICAO, on a “market based measure” by which the industry could pay for carbon emissions. This, like the EU ETS, would be by being able to buy carbon permits from other sectors which had managed to make actual carbon cuts. A hard-hitting article from Tom Burke casts serious doubt on whether this sort of carbon pricing and trading could ever work effectively. He fears many high carbon industries pay lip-service to the concept, in the full knowledge that it will never work sufficiently well to curtail their activities, and it delays the need for any real action. He says: “The intent is to create the impression of an industry in favour of urgent action whilst actually slowing that action down”…. [with the carbon price remaining too low] … “If only governments were brave enough to put the carbon price up higher and faster, they will lament, we would get there sooner. This is hocus-pocus. They know full well governments will be deeply reluctant to put up consumers’ bills.” … “There is no chance that the world will agree on a global price for carbon in the forty years we have to keep the climate safe…. Their purpose is clear, to set a trap for unwary policy makers and environmentalists. Shame on those who fall into it.”

Click here to view full story…

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