Trump administration considering whether to remain in ICAO aviation emissions agreement, CORSIA

US President Donald Trump announcing on June 1 that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The ICAO aviation emissions agreement is now ‘under review’ by his administration. It has not decided whether the US government will remain committed to the ICAO aviation emissions agreement and is unlikely to make a decision soon.  The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is set to go into effect in 2021. So far, 70 countries, including the US, have committed to participating in the agreement’s voluntary phases from 2021-2026.  The Obama administration committed the US to CORSIA when it was adopted in autumn 2016. A State Department spokesperson said the Paris accord and CORSIA “are separate international agreements with different implications” and Trump’s Paris decision “does not signal the US position on CORSIA.” However, it is thought likely that US commitment to CORSIA is weakened.  The global aviation industry, through IATA, back the CORSIA agreement, largely because it is so weak and ineffective that is does very little indeed to prevent continuation of growth and “business as usual.”  It avoids the industry having problems with stronger regional controls on carbon emissions.
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Trump administration reviewing ICAO aviation emissions agreement

US President Donald Trump announcing June 1 at the White House that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The ICAO aviation emissions agreement is now ‘under review’ by his administration.

The Trump administration has not decided whether the US government will remain committed to the ICAO aviation emissions agreement and is unlikely to make a decision anytime soon, according to the US State Department.

The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is set to go into effect in 2021. So far, 70 countries, including the US, have committed to participating in the agreement’s voluntary phases from 2021-2026. But it was the Obama administration that committed the US to CORSIA when it was adopted last year, and US President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the US is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement called into question whether the US remained committed to CORSIA.

In response to inquiries from ATW, a State Department spokesperson said the Paris accord and CORSIA “are separate international agreements with different implications” and Trump’s Paris decision “does not signal the US position on CORSIA.” However, the US position on CORSIA is “under review” and the review will likely last “for some time,” the spokesperson said.

“While this review is under way, the United States will continue to engage constructively on CORSIA’s further development, informed by our airlines, who continue to support CORSIA, and our technical experts,” the State Department spokesperson said.

At the IATA AGM in Cancun this week, delegates endorsed a resolution reaffirming the global airline industry’s commitment to CORSIA. ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in addresses at the AGM that CORSIA still remained on track following Trump’s Paris announcement.

But the US moving from fully committing to CORSIA to reviewing its position, with no timeline for making a decision, undoubtedly creates uncertainty over the accord.

IATA director-aviation environment Michael Gill said during a briefing at the AGM that participating in CORSIA is in the interest of the US and other countries because it “avoids a patchwork of regional measures” on aviation emissions that would “only increase costs and administrative complexity” for the world’s airlines.

http://atwonline.com/eco-aviation/trump-administration-reviewing-icao-aviation-emissions-agreement

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See some earlier news stories on the CORSIA etc

 

Despite Trump, EU and China to back climate deal – to include aviation and shipping

A leaked document shows EU and China are more convinced of climate strategy than ever and willing to ensure aviation and shipping contribute to domestic and international measures. The EU and China are expected to announce plans to reinforce co-operation on delivering a climate deal for shipping at the IMO. This comes after US President Trump confirming that the US is pulling out of the Paris Accord. The EU and China say they “consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever” and they will “ensure that aviation and shipping contribute to combating climate change, including both through domestic measures and international co-operation.” The 19th bilateral summit between the EU and China is taking place on June 1-2 in Brussels. The aim is to advance on the strategic partnership between the EU and China. Further agreement will be made on the importance of emissions trading schemes as a cost-effective climate policy tool. The statement says the EU and China will reinforce bilateral co-operation activities on emissions trading in the context of reforming the EU ETS and starting a national ETS in China this year. Transport & Environment (T&E) director for transport and aviation Bill Hemmings welcomed the reports on future co-operation on climate change.

Click here to view full story…

Leading economists warn that very high carbon tax, starting soon, needed to avoid climate catastrophe

A group of leading economists have warned that the world risks catastrophic global warming in just 13 years unless countries raise taxes on CO2 emissions to as much as $100 (£77) per metric tonne. Experts including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern believe governments must impose a tax on CO2 of $40-$80 per tonne by 2020, to limit emissions from high carbon polluting industries. The price needs to rise to $50-$100 by 2030. This would be needed to attempt to prevent global temperature rising above 2C, in line with targets set by the Cop21 Paris Agreement in 2015. In a report by the High Level Commission on Carbon Prices, backed by the World Bank and the IMF, the authors suggest poor countries could aim for a lower tax, as their economies are more vulnerable. Currently though Europe talks the talk on carbon, the EU carbon trading system currently charges major polluters just €6 (£5.20) for every tonne of CO2, which is far too low to have any impact. Stiglitz and Stern say CO2 prices should rise now, to give businesses and governments the necessary incentive to lower CO2 emissions even when fossil fuels are cheap. The rise in the cost of carbon, if the aviation industry was included, would have a significant impact on the cost of air travel, reducing demand slightly.

Click here to view full story…

European aviation CO2: there should be no free ride for the aviation sector – Peter Liese

Peter Liese, who has been the rapporteur on aviation carbon legislation in the European Commission, has commented that the aviation sector should be doing more to cut carbon. He said the proposal by the European Commission to at least keep intra-European flights in the ETS is a basis for negotiations but the sector should contribute as much to emission reductions as other industries do. He said the Parliament will continue to exert pressure for ambitious climate protection measures in intercontinental flights. He welcomed the proposal to have a reducing cap on the carbon of intra-European flights, as this imposed the same linear reduction factor to aviation as for other industries. “The previous treatment was unfair to other sectors, like the steel industry, where many people are worried about their jobs. How can you tell a steelworker that his company has to meet high climate protection requirements, while other economic sectors do practically nothing?” However, the deal planned by ICAO “is by no means ambitious.” He proposes that the EU “should continue to exempt intercontinental flights until 2021, but then reinstate them if the ICAO rules are not clear. We should also include flights to countries which, like Russia, refuse to join the ICAO agreement.” Trump and Putin should not dictate what we do in Europe.

Click here to view full story…

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Three dioceses near Heathrow say Brexit and climate change put 3rd runway

The alleged need for the expansion of Heathrow has been challenged by the 3 dioceses most directly affected by proposals for a 3rd runway. In a joint submission to the Government on the draft NPS consultation on building a 3rd runway, the dioceses of London, Oxford, and South­wark suggest that outside factors such as Brexit, international terrorism, and climate change could negate arguments that an in­­crease in air traffic is necessary to sustain the British economy. The dioceses say that, while they stop short of out­right opposition at this stage, they are posing “major questions and challenges on moral, social and environmental aspects”. They say that “from a faith basis, and an ethical perspective” the proposals entail severe social and environmental impacts. Christians believe the environment to be God’s creation, over which we have a duty to take good care — which the Government is committed to doing. “This is a spiritual and a moral question, to which the Government should give very great weight.” And  “[Its] discourse is littered with the clichés of contemporary politics — ‘major step forward’, ‘building a global Britain’, ‘making the big decisions. . .’, ‘to forge a new role’, ‘a clear signal that Britain is open for business’, ‘an economy that works for everyone’. One is tempted to discern in this something of a cargo cult, in which the construction of a smart new runway will some­­how magically deliver the goods.”

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Brexit puts third runway in doubt, say nearby dioceses

by PAUL WILKINSON (Church Times)

02 JUNE 2017

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THE need for the expansion of Heathrow has been challenged by the three dioceses most directly affected by proposals for a third runway at the airport.

In a joint submission to the Government on the plans announced last October to build a new runway to the north of the present site, the dioceses of London, Oxford, and South­wark suggest that outside factors such as Brexit, international terrorism, and climate change could negate arguments that an in­­crease in air traffic is necessary to sustain the British economy.

In an 11,000-word document compiled by the diocese of London’s Head of Environment and Sustainability, Brian Cuthbertson, the dioceses say that, while they stop short of out­right opposition at this stage, they are posing “major questions and challenges on moral, social and environmental aspects”. They say that they are commenting “from a faith basis, and an ethical perspective: especially on the needs of the people of London, Buckingham­shire and West Sussex, whom the Church of England is committing to serving”.

While the proposals might prove econom­ically beneficial, “they entail severe social and environmental impacts. Christians believe the environment to be God’s creation, over which we have a duty to take good care — which the Government is committed to doing. This is a spiritual and a moral question, to which the Government should give very great weight.”

The Church accepts that aviation is a British success story, important for industry, growth, and jobs, but it questions the claim that it is threatened by an impending “capa­city crunch”. “Not all of the Government’s numerical claims are supported by evidence. Citing the huge capacity of UK aviation pro­vision already is one thing, demonstrating that it needs to grow even more is another. Any opportunities and benefits of further growth are distinct questions from any need for growth in air travel or in GDP.

”It may be reasonable to foresee, on current trends, that the South East’s airports will ‘all be full by 2040’. But that will depend on changes in the wider world, including eco­nomic and security challenges, on Brexit — and on climate change.”

It continues: “Is Brexit more or less likely to stimulate demand than to respond to what may well turn out a decline in background demand? If the UK’s decision to leave the European Union adds further weight to the need for additional capacity, this is a self-inflicted problem, and not one for which Londoners voted.

”Furthermore, a question mark hangs over the feasibility of delivering multiple major infrastructure projects post-Brexit, if free movement of the construction workforce is to be curbed. . . The skilled and unskilled work­force required seem at odds with the likely impact on the construction industry of any restriction on foreign labour.”

The submission also contests the suggestion that the status of the UK as an international hub is challenged by restricted connectivity, and it faces growing competition from Middle Eastern hubs such as Dubai. “But is there really a need always to be the biggest? Why is Dubai in competition with Heathrow? It is a hub between Europe, Africa and Asia, whereas Heathrow connects also to the Americas.

”In short, we do not accept that the case has been made — not even for additional capacity in principle, especially against the background of Brexit.”

The report claims “significant weaknesses” in supporting documents to the consultation, particularly in relation to climate change. “Material presented is very uneven in content and quality. Much — e.g. on heritage and other local impacts — is simply missing. We are also struck by the threadbare treatment of the effects on the continuity and integrity of communities, on the historic environment, on habitats and health.”

There is also a sideswipe at the Govern­ment’s attitude to the project. “[Its] discourse is littered with the clichés of contemporary politics — ‘major step forward’, ‘building a global Britain’, ‘making the big decisions. . .’, ‘to forge a new role’, ‘a clear signal that Britain is open for business’, ‘an economy that works for everyone’. One is tempted to discern in this something of a cargo cult, in which the con­­struction of a smart new runway will some­­how magically deliver the goods.”

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/2-june/news/uk/brexit-puts-third-runway-in-doubt-say-dioceses

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Despite Trump, EU and China to back climate deal – to include aviation and shipping

A leaked document shows EU and China are more convinced of climate strategy than ever and willing to ensure aviation and shipping contribute to domestic and international measures. The EU and China are expected to announce plans to reinforce co-operation on delivering a climate deal for shipping at the IMO. This comes after US President Trump confirming that the US is pulling out of the Paris Accord. The EU and China say they “consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever” and they will “ensure that aviation and shipping contribute to combating climate change, including both through domestic measures and international co-operation.”   The 19th bilateral summit between the EU and China is taking place on June 1-2 in Brussels. The aim is to advance on the strategic partnership between the EU and China. Further agreement will be made on the importance of emissions trading schemes as a cost-effective climate policy tool. The statement says the EU and China will reinforce bilateral co-operation activities on emissions trading in the context of reforming the EU ETS and starting a national ETS in China this year.  Transport & Environment (T&E) director for transport and aviation Bill Hemmings welcomed the reports on future co-operation on climate change.
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EU and China to back climate deal at IMO

1 June 2017 (Lloyds List)

Leaked document shows EU and China more convinced of climate strategy than ever and willing to ensure aviation and shipping contribute to domestic and international measures.

THE European Union and China are expected to announce plans to reinforce co-operation on delivering a climate deal for shipping at the International Maritime Organization.

The collaboration will be unveiled at a summit of EU and Chinese leaders on Friday, a day after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to quit immediately any non-binding agreements in the 2015 Paris Accord.

A leaked statement seen by Lloyd’s List, the EU and China will say they “consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever”.

“Its detrimental impacts on water, food and national security have become a multiplying factor of social and political fragility, and constitute a root cause for instability, including the displacement of people,” the statement adds.

Brussels and Beijing will “ensure that aviation and shipping contribute to combating climate change, including both through domestic measures and international co-operation”, the statement adds.

The 19th bilateral summit between the EU and China is taking place on June 1-2 in Brussels. The aim is to advance on the strategic partnership between the EU and China.
Trade, climate change and migration will be among the issues to be covered during the summit. It will also be an opportunity to discuss foreign policy and security challenges.

European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will represent the European Union. China will be represented by Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

The EU and China are expected to use the meeting to underline their highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. “Stepping up action will provide both sides with significant opportunities for modernising their economies, enhancing competitiveness, and ensuring socio-economic benefits of increased clean energy access,” the statement says.

Further agreement will be made on the importance of emissions trading schemes as a cost-effective climate policy tool. The statement says the EU and China will further enhance and reinforce bilateral co-operation activities on emissions trading in the context of reforming the EU ETS and starting a national ETS in China this year.

European transport policy think tank T&E director transport and aviation Bill Hemmings welcomed the reports on enhanced EU-China co-operation on climate change.

“The reported US move is another reminder for us that, firstly, global efforts to tackle climate change will be fraught with difficulties and run the danger of failure without regional pressure,” he said.

Mr Hemmings called for ‘insurance policies’ to be put in place in case global efforts on shipping emissions fail after another seven years of discussions. “It will be too late to start thinking about it in mid-2020s,” he said.

https://www.lloydslist.com/ll/sector/regulation/article557137.ece?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=LLTL

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Leading economists warn that very high carbon tax, starting soon, needed to avoid climate catastrophe

A group of leading economists have warned that the world risks catastrophic global warming in just 13 years unless countries raise taxes on CO2 emissions to as much as $100 (£77) per metric tonne. Experts including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern believe governments must impose a tax on CO2 of $40-$80 per tonne by 2020, to limit emissions from high carbon polluting industries. The price needs to rise to $50-$100 by 2030. This would be needed to attempt to prevent global temperature rising above 2C, in line with targets set by the Cop21 Paris Agreement in 2015.  In a report by the High Level Commission on Carbon Prices, backed by the World Bank and the IMF,  the authors suggest poor countries could aim for a lower tax, as their economies are more vulnerable.  Currently though Europe talks the talk on carbon, the EU carbon trading system currently charges major polluters just €6 (£5.20) for every tonne of CO2, which is far too low to have any impact. Stiglitz and Stern say CO2 prices should rise now, to give businesses and governments the necessary incentive to lower CO2 emissions even when fossil fuels are cheap.  The rise in the cost of carbon, if the aviation industry was included, would have a significant impact on the cost of air travel, reducing demand slightly.
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Sky-high carbon tax needed to avoid climate catastrophe, say experts

Economists, including Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern, say taxes of $100 per metric tonne could be needed by 2030

By  (Economics editor, Guardian)

A group of leading economists warned on Monday that the world risks catastrophic global warming in just 13 years unless countries ramp up taxes on carbon emissions to as much as $100 (£77) per metric tonne.

Experts including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern said governments needed to move quickly to tackle polluting industries with a tax on carbon dioxide at $40-$80 per tonne by 2020.

In a report by the High Level Commission on Carbon Prices, which is backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, they suggest poor countries could aim for a lower tax since their economies are more vulnerable.

The aim of a tax on carbon would be essential to meet the targets set by the Cop21 Paris Agreement in 2015, they said.

The call for action will sting European leaders, who have presided over a carbon trading scheme since 2005 that currently charges major polluters just €6 (£5.20) for every tonne of carbon they release into the atmosphere.

The European scheme, which issues firms with carbon credits that can be traded on a central exchange, has come under fire for allowing heavy energy users to avoid investments in new technology to cut their emissions.

Critics accuse officials of issuing too many credits and allowing the price to fall to a level that makes it cheaper for companies to pollute than change their behaviour.

The Trump administration has rejected calls to introduce a carbon tax in the United States, saying it would cost jobs.

Washington’s refusal to adopt a tax has deterred Brussels from moving to a more substantial charge on emissions, which would have the effect of increasing energy costs, at least in the short term, and imposing higher costs on European manufacturers.

The European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) is the world’s biggest scheme for trading greenhouse gas emissions allowances. It covers 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 30 countries, whose carbon emissions make up almost 50% of Europe’s total.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/29/sky-high-carbon-tax-needed-to-avoid-catastrophic-global-warming-say-experts?CMP=share_btn_tw

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There are many other news stories about aviation and the European Emissions Trading system, or the ICAO deal, at

 

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EU study shows most carbon offsets do not work – aviation sector plans depend on them

Carbon offsets are not working, according to a study by the European Commission. The concept of carbon offsets is to allow polluters to pay others to reduce their CO2 emissions, so they can continue to pollute. This is usually considered the cheapest (“most cost effective”) way to make token gesture carbon cuts. The EC research found that 85% of the offset projects used by the EU under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) failed to reduce CO2 emissions.  EU member states decided not to allow the use of offsets to meet European climate goals after 2021. The global market-based measure adopted last October by ICAO relies exclusively on offsetting in its attempt at “carbon neutral growth” for aviation from 2020. Yet Europe is now endorsing the approach at ICAO to address international aviation emissions using the same approach that this report so thoroughly discredits. The problem with offsets is that they are often not making the CO2 cuts suggested, or that the cuts would have happened anyway.  To make matters worse, the ICAO agreement so far fails to include important safeguards which would exclude the worst types of offsets eg. forestry credits, or ensuring adequate transparency about the offsets used. With CDM offsets trading for as little as €0.50 a tonne, offsetting will not cut CO2 – nor will it incentivise greater aircraft efficiency.
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85% of offsets failed to reduce emissions, says EU study

Carbon offsets are not working, according to a study by the European Commission. This measure allows polluters to pay others to reduce their emissions, so they can continue to pollute. The research found that 85% of the offset projects used by the EU under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) failed to reduce emissions.

EU member states decided not to allow the use of offsets to meet European climate goals after 2021. Yet Europe is now endorsing an approach at ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation) to address international aviation emissions using the same approach that this report so thoroughly discredits.

What are the potential pitfalls of offsets? According to the report, most of the projects carried out made false assumptions of alternative scenarios or the projects were likely to have happened anyway.

The global market-based measure adopted last October by ICAO relies exclusively on offsetting in its attempt at “carbon neutral growth” for aviation from 2020. To make matters worse, that ICAO agreement so far fails to include important safeguards which would exclude the worst types of offsets. For example, excluding forestry credits, introducing a negative list – a list which automatically excludes the worst quality offsets – or ensuring adequate transparency about the offsets used.

The European Commission’s June 2016 Low-emission Mobility paper indicates that the EU will rely almost exclusively on ICAO’s weak global agreement to address Europe’s soaring aviation emissions. This report’s findings show why this is an inherently risky strategy, and with CDM offsets trading for as little as €0.50 a tonne, the European strategy represents special treatment for this most carbon-intensive of sectors. Also, prices that are this low do not incentivise greater aircraft efficiency.

T&E’s aviation manager Andrew Murphy said: ‘This study is a wake-up call to the world that relying solely on offsets to address aviation’s climate impact is unsustainable. The EU must, at a minimum, ensure that the worst offset projects are excluded from the ICAO scheme to avoid greenwashing by the airline industry, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.’

Emissions in Europe’s aviation sector rose by 8% in 2016 to 61.6 million tonnes of CO2e, according to new data released by the European Commission. In the same period emissions from all other ETS sectors declined.

https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/85-offsets-failed-reduce-emissions-says-eu-study

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Mentions of aviation in the report include: 

…”credits lacking environmental integrity could increase global GHG emissions.”

“At the same time, demand for international credits is also uncertain. Only a few countries have indicated that they intend to use international credits to achieve their mitigation pledges. An important source of demand could come from the market-based approach pursued under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and possibly from an approach pursued under the International Maritime Organization (IMO). For these demand sources, avoiding double counting with emission reductions under NDCs will be a challenge that is similar to that of avoiding double counting between countries. ”

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UK government must not use international climate deal as a “smokescreen” with which to force through Heathrow runway

WWF is urging the next UK Government to come up with a credible climate plan for aviation – not just offsetting. They say the UK should not merely depend on the ICAO deal (very weak) as a “smokescreen” to pave the way for adding a 3rd Heathrow runway. The proposed new runway would make Heathrow the UK’s largest single source of greenhouse gases and increase emissions 15% over the limit for aviation advised by the Government’s independent expert advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The UK government hopes the ICAO deal for a global offsetting scheme agreed in Montreal last October – called CORSIA – would allow it to ignore aviation CO2. But the new WWF report Grounded explains ten problems with this approach. These include a weak target well short of the ambition of the Paris climate agreement and ignoring the non-CO2 pollution from planes, which probably almost doubles their overall global warming impact. The ICAO CORSIA scheme is no panacea for limiting the climate change impacts of airports expansion. The CO2 emissions from use of a new runway cannot just be offset. Instead government Ministers need to come up with a credible plan for limiting UK aviation emissions before making any decisions on allowing an extra (intensively used) runway (largely used for long haul flights). Otherwise, with no plan to deal with the huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions poses a very real threat to the UK’s legally binding climate change commitments.
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UK GOVERNMENT MUST NOT USE INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE DEAL AS A “SMOKESCREEN” TO FORCE THROUGH HEATHROW EXPANSION

17th MAY 2017 (WWF press release)

WWF urges the next UK Government to come up with a credible climate plan for aviation – not just offsetting

Full report – “Grounded”

LONDON: The next UK Government is being urged not to use an international climate deal as a “smokescreen” to pave the way for Heathrow Airport expansion.

The proposed new runway would make Heathrow the UK’s largest single source of greenhouse gases and increase emissions 15% over the limit advised by the Government’s independent expert advisers, the Committee on Climate Change.

It has been suggested that a global offsetting scheme agreed in Montreal last October – called CORSIA – will allow the Government to wash its hands of these emissions, but WWF’s new report Grounded explains ten problems with this approach. These include a weak target well short of the ambition of the Paris climate agreement and ignoring the non-CO2 pollution from aeroplanes, which doubles their overall global warming impact.

Commenting on the report, Paul Ekins OBE, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at University College London, said:

“While last year’s global agreement on aviation emissions is a step forward, there are still many unanswered questions about this international offsetting scheme. It is certainly no panacea for limiting the climate change impacts of airports expansion.

“The UK Government cannot wash its hands of Heathrow’s carbon emissions in the hope it can simply offset them. Ministers should come up with a credible plan for limiting UK aviation emissions before making any decisions about airports expansion.”

WWF actively supports the CORSIA negotiations and welcomes the progress made to date – but there are still too many problems and unknowns about CORSIA to expect it to deal effectively with the huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed new runway at Heathrow.

James Beard, Climate Change Specialist at WWF commented:

““Expanding Heathrow without a plan to deal with the huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions poses a very real threat to the UK’s legally binding climate change commitments.

“We are urging all climate change and airports campaigners to respond to the Heathrow consultation with a simple message: no new runway until you have a credible plan for dealing with the environmental impacts here in the UK – not just through offsetting.”

The Government’s consultation on the National Policy Statement for the new runway closes on 25 May.

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Notes to the editor

  1. The full report can be found here: www.wwf.org.uk/Heathrow2017
  1. The agreement, between the 191 Member States of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), committed to introduce a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) from 2020. This means that, in theory, for every tonne of CO2 airlines emit above 2020 levels, they will have to buy a carbon credit representing a tonne of CO2 reduced elsewhere.

3.The report finds 10 problems with relying on offsetting to tackle aviation emissions:

  1. The ICAO CORSIA has a weak emissions target
  2. The CORSIA ignores half of aviation’s GHG emissions
  3. The CORSIA only exists on paper right now
  4. The CORSIA might allow dodgy offset credits
  5. The CORSIA might double-count countries’ carbon cuts
  6. The CORSIA is only seen as a “temporary gap filler”
  7. ICAO doesn’t want higher carbon prices for aviation
  8. UK airlines could get an easy ride under the CORSIA
  9. The Committee on Climate Change opposes offsetting
  10. Brexit complicates the EU Emissions Trading System too

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit https://wwwf.org.uk for latest news and media resources and follow us on Twitter @wwf_uk.

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https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/uk-government-must-not-use-international-climate-deal-smokescreen-force-through-heathrow

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The Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), and carbon emissions from aviation

On the issue of carbon emissions and aviation, the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) say MPs should not vote in favour of the NPS in its current form given its failure to adequately address environmental impacts.

It is important to have tough, evidence-based set of environmental requirements for both the Government and the airport. These should cover at least – on environment – noise, air quality and climate change and be written in to primary legislation alongside the NPS.  The right conditions on the runway could be very powerful in ensuring the runway only goes ahead if it could genuinely meet them.

The government seems to hope it can use the ICAO proposals as a sufficient means of dealing with the increased carbon emissions generated by the runway. The government is intending to publish a consultation on aviation carbon emissions later this year, but what is proposed under CORSIA falls very far short of what is required.  Heathrow appears to have anticipated this, with its attempt to forestall this by its (greenwashing) little paper, called “Heathrow 2.0” which claims to be a “sustainability strategy” for a “carbon neutral runway”.  Proposals to help restore peat bogs etc go nowhere near far enough to deal with the airport’s carbon emissions, and should not be given credence.

The DfT civil servants understand quite clearly that if they follow the advice of the the Committee on Climate Change (the Government’s statutory advisers on the issue) and of the Environmental Audit Committee that a limit of 37.5 MtCO2 per year should be imposed on aviation CO2 emissions nationally by 2050 then this will make the third runway effectively impossible.

The court finding in 2010 that the Government of the day had failed to show that a third runway was compatible with the Climate Change Act reinforces this http://wwf.panda.org/?191864/Heathrow-airport-expansion-in-tartters-as-judge-slams-3rd-runway-plans.

WWF has today published a report called “Grounded: Ten reasons why international offsetting won’t solve Heathrow’s climate change problem”.

Both AEF and WWF have been directly involved with the UN discussions on the international offsetting regime for aviation. Both organisations take the view that this scheme cannot provide an effective answer to the Heathrow emissions challenge.

The AEF set out its views on this in October 2016 http://www.aef.org.uk/2016/10/24/new-aef-briefing-why-the-un-carbon-offsetting-deal-for-aviation-cant-close-the-uk-policy-gap/.

 

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EasyJet annual overall CO2 emissions rise, but the spin just focuses on CO2 per passenger kilometre

EasyJet has had a moderately difficult year and its profits have not grown as fast as it would have liked. So logically it is pushing for the highest load factors it can, to save costs and increase profits. Getting the planes fuller is great – as it does make a small reduction in the amount of carbon emitted per passenger.  EasyJet is proud to be announcing that its CO2 emissions for the year ending September 2016 were 79.98g/passenger km. That was down by 1.3% on the previous year and 31% lower than in 2000. But in 2000 the number of passenger kilometres flown by EasyJet was only about 2.5% of the number now. With the massive annual growth in passenger kilometres that EasyJet anticipates (and does everything it can to achieve) of over 6% per year, the small improvement on each is far, far out-weighted. It is like someone one a diet saying they will eat biscuits that are 1% smaller, but eat 6% more of them. The net effect is massively more – biscuit eaten in this case – carbon emissions overall.  It is merely greenwash, for PR purposes and to confuse the unwary, to crow about tiny improvements in carbon intensity per unit of a product, while increasing the quantity of the product.  All industries do this – even countries. EasyJet’s overall carbon emissions are rising, and as long as it grows fast, will continue to rise. Most gains in load factor improvements have already been achieved – the “low hanging fruit”. 
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EasyJet Corporate Responsibility page

easyJet’s CO2 emissions in the 2015 financial year were 6.1 million tonnes, compared to 5.9 million tonnes for the 2014 financial year, an increase of 3.4%.  [The improvement in CO2 per passenger kilometre, by contrast, was 1.2%] 

The increase in overall emissions has been due to the continued expansion of easyJet’s operations, as this year easyJet’s passenger numbers increased by 6% compared to 2014.

easyJet’s new target is to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by 8% by 2020 compared to 2013. [While growing the airline’s capacity by 6% per year].

*Chart – Carbon emissions per passenger kilometre

  • 2015 – 81.05g
  • 2014 – 82.03g
  • 2013 – 83.76g
  • 2012 – 85.48g
  • 2011 – 84.6g
  • 2010 – 84.4g

http://corporate.easyjet.com/corporate-responsibility/environment/carbon-emissions

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Some quotes below from a note on easyJet’s corporate website 

15 November 2016

easyJet plc

Results for the year ending 30 September 2016

“easyJet delivers a resilient performance in a challenging environment”

 

Capacity increased by 6.5%,

Record number of passengers at 73.1 million, increasing by 4.5 million (6.6%) during the year.

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The total European short-haul market grew by 6% year-on-year in the year ending 30 September 2016 and by 8% in easyJet’s markets, driven primarily by a continued low fuel price. easyJet grew capacity by 7% during the period, with growth of 8% in the first half and of 6% in the second half.

We remain confident in our ability to deliver long term growth and returns for shareholders as we continue to execute our strategy. For the six months to 31 March 2017 capacity is expected to increase by 9% as we invest in markets and routes that will build on our resilient network, enhance our customer proposition and underpin returns for the long-term. For the year to 30 September 2017 we currently plan to increase capacity by up to 9%.
http://corporate.easyjet.com/~/media/Files/E/Easyjet/pdf/investors/results-centre/2016/2016-full-year-results.pdf

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Passenger transport volume of Easyjet from 2000 to 2014 (in million revenue passenger-kilometers)

About 3,926 million passenger kilometres in 2000

Around 91,477 million passenger kilometres in 2014 (2,330 % rise)

https://www.statista.com/statistics/457907/easyjet-transport-volume-in-million-revenue-passenger-km/

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EasyJet cuts emissions to lowest rate in response to pressure on airlines

EasyJet’s carbon emissions reduction is down to measures including lighter seats and using only one engine while taxiing, the airline said
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EasyJet has cut the carbon emissions of its flights to the lowest-ever rate, according to the airline.

The Luton-based carrier said it achieved the reduction through measures such as lighter seats, using only one engine while taxiing and giving pilots tablets instead of laptops and printed navigational charts.

Its emissions for the year ending September last year were 79.98g/passenger km, down by 1.3% on the previous year and 31% lower than in 2000.

Pressure has been growing on the aviation industry to take action on greenhouse emissions from flights to curb temperature rises.

Latest figures for other airlines’ carbon emissions include British Airways’ parent company IAG with 93.7g/passenger km, Air France KLM with 85g and Lufthansa with 96.9g.

EasyJet’s head of carbon efficiency, Chris Foster, said: “W e want to make sure we take our passengers where they want to go with the lowest carbon emissions. Through our efficiency programme, we continually look for ways to reduce fuel usage and emissions.

“We are very pleased to have delivered emissions below 80 grams for each passenger kilometre for the first time and look forward to reaching our target of 77 grams by 2020.

“By using modern aircraft and flying them efficiently, we will have successfully reduced the carbon impact of our flights by a third in 20 years, delivering a step change in the environmental impact of our flights.”

An international deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from air travel was agreed in October last year.

The agreement, secured at International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) talks in Montreal, Canada, will come into effect from 2021 with 65 countries. including all European Union nations, signing up to “offset” emissions from international flights.

The scheme aims to cap aviation emissions at the level reached in three years, and there is a review mechanism to strengthen its ambition.

Airlines will have to buy permits that deliver reductions in pollution elsewhere to cover emissions above 2020 volumes.

EasyJet has set a target of reducing emissions to around 70g/passenger km by that time.

It is developing a hybrid plane that would use a hydrogen fuel cell stowed in the aircraft’s hold.

The concept would enable e nergy to be captured as the brakes are deployed on landing, which would power the jet when it is on the ground, similar to the kinetic energy recovery system used in Formula One.

The airline is also working with Wright Electric on designs for a commercial plane powered by electric batteries.

James Beard, from c onservation charity WWF, said: ” All efforts to cut carbon emissions are welcome, so it’s pleasing to see easyJet flying more efficiently.

“However, aviation remains the most carbon-intensive way to travel and one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions in the world.

“We need much more action than just airlines tinkering around the edges.”

Mr Beard called for investment in “cleaner ways to keep connected” such as international rail links and video conferencing, and urged UK ministers to come up with a “credible plan for dealing with aviation emissions” before new runways are built, such as the expansion of Heathrow Airport

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/easyjet-cuts-emissions-to-lowest-rate-in-response-to-pressure-on-airlines-35702626.html

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Environmental group launches legal action over plans for new Dublin runway under climate law

The original permission for the proposed 3.1km runway at Dublin airport was granted in 2007, and was due to expire this August. A 5 year extension was granted by Fingal County Council in March 2017.  The runway plans were put on hold during the recession.. Now Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) have sought a judicial review of Fingal County Council’s decision. They allege that the council’s Chief Executive was fully aware that the extra runway would result in increased greenhouse gas emissions before granting the 5-year extension.  This would be in contravention of the objectives of the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act.  FIE say that as the original permission was granted based on an Environmental Impact Statement from 2002, the council has failed to consider new research on climate change over the past 15 years. The FIE’s challenge also refers to the recent refusal of planning permission for a third runway at Vienna Airport by the Austrian Court due to the higher carbon emissions the runway would cause. Two separate groups of residents to be affected by the construction of a 3rd runway have also brought legal challenges. St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group say the impact of the runway on their homes was not properly considered by the council.

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Environmental group launches legal action over plans for new Dublin Airport runway under climate law

May 8th, 2017  (Green News)
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Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) have sought a judicial review of Fingal County Council’s decision to extend planning permission for the development of a €320 million runway at Dublin Airport.

The environmental group alleges that the council’s Chief Executive was fully aware that the extra runway would result in increased greenhouse gas emissions before granting the five-year extension.

According to the group, this runs in contravention of the objectives of the 2015 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act.

The group’s affidavit states that the Chief Executive failed to take account of various climate and emissions related criteria as legally obliged under the 2015 Climate Act before deciding to grant the extension.

The extension was granted by Fingal County Council in March. The original permission for the proposed 3.1km runway, granted in 2007, was due to expire this August.

The project, set to be located less than 2km north of the Airport’s existing main runway, was put on hold during the recession.

Direct emissions from the aviation industry account for about 2 per cent of global emissions, and are projected to be around 70 per cent higher in 2020 compared to 2005 levels.

According to the European Commission, a flight from London to New York and back generates the same emissions as the average EU citizen does from heating their home for a year.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) estimates that by 2050 aviation emissions will have increased by 300% compared to today.

According to an affidavit provided by FIE Director Tony Lowes, the Fingal Chief Executive made a number of “entirely general observations” in relation to the findings of the ICAO in its decision.

The FIE’s challenge also points to the recent refusal of planning permission for a third runway at Vienna Airport by the Austrian Federal Administrative Court due to air traffic’s climate change impact.

The group also argue that, as the original permission was granted based on an Environmental Impact Statement from 2002, the council has failed to consider new research on climate change over the past 15 years.

“The fact is that the international and national context in respect of climate change has moved on dramatically since the runway was first granted permission, which included a very limited assessment of climate impacts,” the affidavit states.

“Every citizen possesses constitutional and natural rights to bodily integrity, life, water, food, health and an environment consistent with their right to dignity and well-being. Climate change will directly and irrevocably impinge on each and all of those constitutional and natural right.”

Two separate groups of residents set to be affected by the construction of a third runway have also brought legal challenges.

One group, St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group, allege that the development is illegal as the council failed to consider the impact of the development on their homes before granting the extension.

These cases are set to be heard in the Commercial Court in October following an application to the high court by the Dublin Airport Authority.

In 2016, 25 million passengers passed through Dublin Airport. Dublin is the fastest growing major airport in Europe, according to Airports Council international Europe, the trade association for European airport operators.

http://greennews.ie/environmental-group-launch-legal-action-plans-new-dublin-airport-runway-climate-law/

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Earlier:

Dublin Airport may buy 40 homes, already badly affected by noise, in bid to step up 2nd runway plans

Dublin airport was given consent for a 2nd runway in 2007, but due to the recession it was not started. There are now plans to start work in 2017, for completion in 2020, though as much has changed in the years since 2007 on the aviation market, questions are asked about whether the original consent should still be valid. Due to the inevitably increased noise from the 2nd runway, it is likely that around 40 houses (mainly in the St Margaret’s area 2-3km from the airport) would be bought by the airport, and negotiations are planned. Triple glazed window insulation will probably also be suggested for hundreds of other properties including schools.  A spokeswoman for the St Margaret’s Concerned Residents Group said the affected 30 home owners in her association are devastated but have no choice. The airport has assessed the level of noise necessitating house purchase based on 90 days of the airport’s busiest months from June to September.  Residents, some of whom have been in the area for three generations, fear that a 2nd runway, with increasing frequency, growth in long haul services and more larger aircraft Dublin would compound the noise problem.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/04/dublin-airport-may-buy-40-homes-already-badly-affected-by-noise-in-bid-to-step-up-2nd-runway-plans/

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Work to build Dublin 2nd runway could start in 2017 for completion in 2020

Dublin airport is to press ahead with building a 2nd main runway, resurrecting plans that were approved in August 2007 but then put on hold when Ireland was plunged into financial crisis after 2008. The 2 mile runway will be cost about €320 million (£258m) with work starting in 2017. It may be ready by 2020, to meet rising demand. Passenger numbers at Dublin are now back up to where they were before the recession, and although the airport is not yet at full capacity, it is congested at peak hours. There were around 25 million passengers in 2015. Passenger numbers are expected to rise further. Dublin to London is one of the world’s busiest international air routes, while the facility to pre-clear US immigration in Ireland has made Dublin popular with transatlantic travellers. Ireland cut is small charge of €3 on air tickets in 2013, while Northern Ireland continued to charge £13 in APD. Many people therefore travelled from Northern Ireland to Dublin, to save money. Ryanair has over 40% of the flights at Dublin backs the runway, as does IAG. Willie Walsh has said he might consider using Dublin more if Heathrow got a 3rd runway, and raised charges sharply. There are some conditions restricting night flights very slightly, (65 per night 11pm to 7am) with the 2nd runway.

Click here to view full story…

 

Willie Walsh keen to get 2nd Dublin runway, which has planning consent

Planning permission for a new east-west runway, 1.6 kilometres to the north and parallel to the existing main runway at Dublin airport was granted  in 2007 and remains valid till 2017.  However a new planning application may have to be lodged because the original permission contained 31 restrictive conditions including a requirement that no flights operate from the 2nd runway between 11pm and 7am. The airport’s busiest time is the hour between 6am and 7am so airlines say a ban before flights taking off then is “impractical.”  The runway cost has been estimated at  €300m.  The likelihood of it being built is considered higher now after the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus which includes plans to use Dublin airport to feed traffic from Europe to North America.  IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh wants the runway, saying (predictably) Dublin airport is currently at full capacity during peak hours, leading to “congestion and delays”. Mr Walsh says he was open to an agreement with Ryanair that would see it feed passengers to the Aer Lingus long-haul network, and an agreement could be reached by summer 2016.  The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is re-examining its proposals for a second runway as passenger numbers have risen to more than 21 million in 2014 and it expects a rise of 15% this year.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/11/willie-walsh-keen-to-get-2nd-dublin-runway-which-has-planning-consent/

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MPs criticise Government over carbon ‘fantasy’ for Heathrow expansion (based on vague hopes)

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has criticised the UK Government for its failure to deal adequately with carbon emissions from a 3rd runway, saying their carbon calculations were a “fantasy”.  As part of its response, the Government says it will publish an Aviation Strategy white paper in 2018 (which means pushing the Heathrow runway through first, and only then, sorting out the rest of the UK’s aviation policy. A true case of “cart before horse”). The government is trying to make out that adding a new runway would not place extra pressure on other sectors to reduce their emissions. The Committee on Climate Change has repeatedly warned this would be the case, if gross UK aviation CO2 emissions rose above 37.5MtCO2 per year. The government says (whatever this means) that it “remains open to considering all feasible measures to ensure the aviation sector contributes fairly to UK emissions reductions”. Clear as mud. The EAC has now ceased work, due to the general election. But its chair, Mary Creagh has warned the election will enable the Government to “duck their responsibilities to the environment”. She said: “Heathrow expansion should only go ahead if the Government has a clear plan for the extra air pollution, carbon emissions and noise. All the  government has to offer on aviation CO2 is membership of the (woefully weak and inadequate) ICAO deal, which the UK would join in 2021.
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MPs criticise Government over carbon ‘fantasy’ for Heathrow expansion

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The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has criticised the UK Government for refusing to commit to air quality targets in relation to the third runway expansion, labelling the associated carbon calculations as a “fantasy”.

As part of its response, the Government revealed that it will publish an Aviation Strategy white paper in 2018 as part of a broader aviation commitment

The Government has aligned itself with the findings of the Airports Commission, which suggests that Heathrow airport could expand without exceeding legal air quality levels. The EAC issued a report in February, warning that the expansion at Heathrow Airport could create a “black hole” in future carbon budgets.

In a response to the EAC’s concerns, published this week, the Government has reaffirmed its belief that the Airport Commission’s carbon scenarios and measures are “realistic”, noting that none of the scenarios place extra pressure on other sectors to reduce emissions. Specifically, the Government noted it “remains open to considering all feasible measures to ensure the aviation sector contributes fairly to UK emissions reductions”.

The EAC chair, Mary Creagh has since suggested that the upcoming general election will enable the Government to “duck their responsibilities to the environment”, noting that no guarantees have been made that EU air quality policies will remain in place for the expansion to adhere to.

“Heathrow expansion should only go ahead if the Government has a clear plan for the extra air pollution, carbon emissions and noise,” Creagh said today (28 April).

“I am pleased to see the Government agrees with my Committee’s recommendation on measuring the noise impacts, but Ministers are still refusing to guarantee that EU air quality targets won’t be quietly dropped after we leave the EU, have no national plan for air pollution, and their carbon calculations are a fantasy.”

The secretary of state for Transport Chris Grayling has stated that “we must tackle air quality and noise, and meet our obligations on carbon both during and after construction”. The Transport Committee is expected to scrutinise draft recommendations and will publish its report by summer recess 2017.

With the UK planning to reduce emissions by 57% by 2032 – and by 80% by 2050 – as part of the recently-approved Fifth Carbon Budget, critics have questioned how the airport expansion will align with these national policies.

Thursday’s High Court ruling to publish an air quality plan by July places extra pressure on the Government to outline how the expansion will fit in with the UK Air Quality Plan.

“The Government is determined to meet its air quality obligations and to do so in the shortest time possible. We will publish the final UK Air Quality Plan by 31 July,” the response notes. “Final development consent will only be granted if the secretary of state is satisfied that, with mitigation, the scheme would be compliant with legal air quality requirements.

“The Government is aware of the desire for certainty around what exiting the EU means for our environmental policy and legislative framework. That is why the Prime Minister announced last year our plans for a Great Repeal Bill. The Bill will convert EU law into UK law as it stands at the moment before we leave the EU.”

Heathrow’s hope

Heathrow Airport is confident that it will place “no more cars on the road” as a result of expansion, and plans to utilise new public transport routes, car-sharing and electric vehicles to mitigate road-associated carbon emissions. When questioned on the feasibility of this target, the Government merely noted that the responsibility “rests with the applicant”.

In recent months, Heathrow has launched Heathrow 2.0, a ‘sustainability super-strategy’ ahead of expansion, while also questioning air quality omissions from a Government consultation. The Airport’s sustainability & environment director Matthew Gorman reiterated a call for the Environment Agency (EA) to be handed a role as an independent aviation air quality authority to oversee Heathrow’s expansion proposals.

As part of its response, the Government revealed that it will publish an Aviation Strategy white paper in 2018 as part of a broader aviation commitment. The Government also reaffirmed its intention to participate in the global aviation emissions scheme from 2021.

Matt Mace

https://www.edie.net/news/11/Government-criticised-over-carbon–fantasy–for-Heathrow-expansion/

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This is what the Environmental Audit Committee said on 26th April, on carbon emissions:

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvaud/560/56002.htm

Carbon

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

Response (by government) : The Government has reviewed the AC’s work and believes that the carbon scenarios and assumptions on carbon abatement measures used are realistic and that the analysis takes into account impacts on other airports 4. None of the AC’s carbon scenarios involves placing additional pressure to reduce emissions on other sectors of the UK economy except as a consequence of carbon price.

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

Response [by government]: We have been very clear, including in correspondence with the EAC, that we have not ruled out any of the AC’s carbon policy scenarios. In January 2017, we wrote to the Chair of the EAC, stating:

“[t]he Government has not taken a view on whether to accept the CCC’s planning assumption. The Government remains open to considering all feasible measures to ensure that the aviation sector contributes fairly to UK emissions reductions.”

The upcoming aviation strategy will consider measures to tackle the carbon impacts of aviation.

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

Response (by government):  The Government agrees with this recommendation. We have stated our intention to participate in the scheme from 2021 and we continue to encourage our international partners to do the same. The UK is strongly in favour of further increasing the ambition of the scheme as it progresses and will work with other States in ICAO to try and achieve this during the review periods.

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

Response [by government] : The Government partially agrees with this recommendation. We are working closely across Government on both our plan to reduce emissions through the 2020s and an aviation strategy to replace the Aviation Policy Framework.

The issue of aviation and climate change is much broader than the development of an airport. Aviation is inherently an international industry and climate change is an international challenge. As agreed at the time of the Kyoto Agreement, it is only right that aviation emissions are tackled via concerted international action. It is also right that we take action domestically to reduce the carbon intensity of air travel. The AC considered both international and UK sectoral frameworks for tackling aviation emissions and concluded that any of its three shortlisted schemes for increased airport capacity could be delivered consistently with the UK’s obligations. The Government agrees with the AC’s conclusion and will continue to consider both international and domestic policy measures to tackle the climate change impacts of aviation.

The Government will set out its strategic approach to aviation in a series of consultation papers over the next two years including a paper on the environmental impacts of aviation. This will be an ambitious programme of work and will take some time. We will be consulting widely, both with the industry and with consumers throughout 2017 and 2018 – leading to publication of an Aviation Strategy White Paper in 2018.

The Department has also begun a programme of work to update our evidence on what measures could be used to reduce UK aviation emissions and what the associated costs would be to the UK and society more widely. This is due to be published in summer 2017 and will feed into the Department’s aviation strategy.

Full EAC report of 26.4.2017at

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvaud/560/56002.htm

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T&E and CAN write to AirlinesforEurope (A4E) to ask where they stand on Ryanair’s climate denial

Following remarks by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary rejecting the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, T&E and Climate Action Network Europe have written to the European airlines’ lobbying group, AirlinesforEurope (A4E), and A4E’s other member airlines – asking them to state publicly whether they side with O’Leary’s climate denial or whether they accept the proven link between human activity and a warming planet. With aviation emissions continuing to soar – up 8% in Europe alone in 2016 – and governments struggling to introduce effective measures to rein them in, there is a strong public and consumer interest in knowing whether European airlines accept the need to take action on climate change or are intent on identifying with the diminishing band of climate deniers. National and European decision makers should also know where airlines stand on the issue of climate change when they are being intensively lobbied by airlines on the issue. The letter ends:  “We therefore call on your airlines, and A4E, to state publicly whether you accept the over-whelming evidence of climate change, and the resulting need to take ambitious action, or whether you are partners in Mr O’Leary’s reckless climate denialism.”
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Where do other airlines stand on Ryanair’s climate denial?

April 26, 2017 (Transport & Environment)

Following remarks by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary rejecting the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, T&E and Climate Action Network Europe call on Ryanair’s European lobbying group, AirlinesforEurope (A4E), and A4E’s other member airlines to state publicly whether they side with O’Leary’s climate denial or whether they accept the proven link between human activity and a warming planet.

With aviation emissions continuing to soar – up 8% in Europe alone in 2016 – and governments struggling to introduce effective measures to rein them in, there is a strong public and consumer interest in knowing whether European airlines accept the need to take action on climate change or are intent on identifying with the diminishing band of climate deniers. National and European decision makers should also know where airlines stand on the issue of climate change when they are being intensively lobbied by airlines on the issue.

https://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/where-do-other-airlines-stand-ryanairs-climate-denial

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The letter:

Dear Airlines4Europe and its member airlines,

Earlier this month, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary commented on Irish radio that he does not “accept the connection between carbon consumption and climate change1.”  (1 Irish Times, 08/04/2017 “Michael O’Leary says he ‘does not accept climate change is real’)

In doing so, he puts himself in conflict with the 97% of peer-reviewed climate scientists who believe that human activity has a direct link with rising global temperatures.

He also puts himself in conflict with the scores of governments which have ratified the Paris
Agreement and which have pledged to take ambitious climate action. Incredibly, he has even put himself in conflict with CEOs of oil majors such as ExxonMobil and Shell who, while not exactly championing action on climate change, at least accept the principles of climate science.

In the coming months, the EU will decide on the future terms for aviation’s inclusion in its Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Work will also continue on developing the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s global market-based measure (known as CORSIA). Much of the lobbying on these issues will be conducted by your association, AirlinesforEurope (A4E).

Not only is Ryanair a member of your association, but it is the largest member.

In the interests of transparency, we believe European Union institutions, member states and
stakeholders should know whether the climate denialism of Mr O’Leary is also shared by your
airlines and A4E. When you engage in lobbying, we believe everyone should know whether they are working with an honest partner, or someone who flatly rejects the overwhelming consensus of climate science. We also believe your customers would appreciate knowing where you stand on this critical issue.

We therefore call on your airlines, and A4E, to state publicly whether you accept the overwhelming evidence of climate change, and the resulting need to take ambitious action, or whether you are partners in Mr O’Leary’s reckless climate denialism.

We look forward to your response.
On behalf of Climate Action Network Europe and Transport & Environment,
Yours sincerely,
William Todts
Executive Director, Transport & Environment
william.todts@transportenvironment.org

 

https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/Letter_Where_do_other_airlines_stand_on_Ryanair%27s_climate_denial.pdf

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See earlier

Ryanair denies climate change because it doesn’t like CO2 solutions that would cramp its growth

Recently Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary dismissed evidence of climate change as “rubbish”. Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, says this is hardly surprising. CO2 emissions from all sectors in the EU’s emissions trading system decreased in 2016 with one exception: aviation: CO2 from flights within Europe grew 8%, according to figures released last week by the European Commission. Low-fares airlines drove this growth, with Ryanair, Wizz Air, Eurowings and Norwegian all registering double-digit increases in emissions. Ryanair is the biggest aviation emitter in Europe. These airlines are now huge emitters with carbon footprints exceeding those of some small countries. Ryanair’s growth is thanks, in part, to a business model reliant on taxpayer handouts. It will face the biggest challenge if governments take serious action against aviation’s growing emissions. World CO2 emissions need to almost cease by 2050, so an increase of 8% in European aviation emissions in one year alone is of serious concern. It is allowed because all levels of government – regional, national and European – policies do nothing to curb its emissions. The sector receives €40 billion annual subsidy from its fuel tax and VAT exemptions. Luckily, the aviation EU ETS provisions are currently under revision, and MEPs and member states have an opportunity to fix some of the major flaws.

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