The CEOs of 43 large global companies have written an open letter to world leaders, asking them to deliver an ambitious climate change agreement at the Paris climate summit later this year, while pledging to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. There are no airports or airlines among the signatories. The letter called on negotiators to make sure a new international climate deal limits the global rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius. They understand that the private sector has “a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy”. Some of the companies were IKEA, Erikson, Lafarge, Volvo, BT, Marks & Spencer, Munich RE, Unilever, and Vestas. While the companies signing the letter want to cut their emissions, help raise climate awareness and manage climate risks, they all want to take advantage of the growth opportunities of cutting carbon. The open letter was orchestrated by the World Economic Forum. Many companies are looking to governments to provide a policy framework for a transition to more sustainable business models. Most governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit their climate pledges for the new deal to the UN,with only Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the EU having done so.
Corporate giants step up calls for ambitious Paris deal
Open letter from 43 chief executives also commits companies to reducing their own emissions
17.4.2015 (BusinessGreen staff)
The heads of more than 40 leading companies have called on world leaders to deliver an ambitious climate change agreement at the Paris climate summit later this year, while pledging to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.
Writing in an open letter orchestrated by the World Economic Forum, 43 representatives from companies that generated a combined $1.2tr in 2014 said the private sector has “a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy”.
The letter was backed by the chief executives of a host of household names, including IKEA, BT, Marks & Spencer, Munich RE, Unilever, and Vestas.
The letter commits them to reducing their environmental and carbon footprints through setting targets to cut emissions, acting as ambassadors to raise public awareness around climate change, and actively manage climate risks, incorporating them in decision making, while looking to take advantage of the growth opportunities.
“This initiative being launched today is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change,” said Ignacio Galán, chairman of Iberdrola and one of the signatories to the letter, in a statement. “As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development by fully integrating the environmental dimension in our strategy and management.”
The letter comes ahead of a meeting of the World Bank in Washington today and offers a timely reminder that many companies are looking to governments to provide a policy framework for a transition to more sustainable business models.
Diplomats remain hopeful high profile business backing can increase the chances of an ambitious new treaty being agreed at the Paris Summit this December.
Observers remain optimistic an agreement can be reached based on a new system whereby all countries put forward commitments to curb their emissions and increase investment in low carbon infrastructure and climate resilience.
However, this optimism was tempered somewhat in recent weeks, after the vast majority of governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit climate pledges ahead of the UN talks in Paris at the end of the year, with only Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the EU so far registering their commitments on the UN submission site under the so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) system.
The group of 43 chief executives, representing firms which generated a combined $1.2 trillion in 2014, said they would set internal emission reduction targets and called on negotiators to make sure a new international climate deal limits the global rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The letter is designed to put pressure on government officials ahead of a spring meeting of a World Bank group in Washington from April 17-19.
Companies signing the letter include cement maker Lafarge , telecom group Erikson, consumer goods company Unilever, and car maker Volvo.
“This initiative being launched today is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change. As businesses, we have the obligation to contribute to sustainable development,” Ignacio Galan, CEO of utility Iberdrola said in a statement.
Most governments missed an informal March 31 deadline to submit their climate pledges for the new deal.
Just Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, Russia, Gabon and the European Union had posted submissions U.N.’s submission website as of April 16.
The firms also join more than 340 institutional investors that last September called on governments to set carbon pricing policies that encourage the private sector to invest in cleaner technologies.
The CEO letter is published here: CEO Letter
Open Letter from Global CEOs to World Leaders Urging Concrete Climate Action
CEO-led initiative to create a fertile ground for a responsible and global climate deal in Paris 2015
Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that will shape the way we do business now and in the coming decades. The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), to be held in Paris in December 2015, aims to deliver a new climate change agreement that will put the world on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future while keeping the rise in global temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius.
This coalition, comprising 43 CEOs from companies with operations in over 150 countries and territories, and facilitated by the World Economic Forum, believes the private sector has a responsibility to actively engage in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to help lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This coalition further seeks to catalyze and aggregate action and initiatives from companies from all industry sectors — towards delivering concrete climate solutions and innovations in their practices, operations and policies.
The undersigned, as CEO climate leaders, urge the world’s leaders to reach an ambitious climate deal at COP21, aligned with the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We extend an open offer to national governments to meet and co-design tangible actions as well as ambitious, effective targets that are appropriate for their different jurisdictions.
- The companies we represent are taking voluntary actions to reduce environmental and carbon footprints, setting targets to reduce our own GHG gas emissions and/or energy consumption while also collaborating in supply chains and at sectoral levels. Technological innovations will be an important element.
- We agree on the need for inspirational and meaningful global action and aligned messaging. We will act as ambassadors for climate action, focusing on solutions and economic opportunities and using “the science debate is over: climate change is real and addressable” * as one of the common themes to raise public awareness.
- We will actively manage climate risks and incorporate them in decision making — not least to realize growth opportunities. We will take steps to implement effective strategies to strengthen not only our companies’ but also societal resilience.
Our vision supporting a climate deal
- We believe that effective climate policies have to include explicit or implicit prices on carbon achieved via market mechanisms or coherent legislative measures according to national preferences, which will trigger low-carbon investment and transform current emission patterns at a significant scale. We support global mitigation approaches that promote cost effective incentives for cutting emissions, while respecting level playing fields and preventing carbon leakage.
- We urge a strategic action agenda — supported by clear and consistent policies and robust monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) — that will complement business efforts to stimulate innovation as well as collaborative actions across value chains, and to develop and scale up alternative and renewable energy sources, promote energy efficiency, end deforestation and accelerate other low-carbon options and technologies such as ICT.
- We welcome transparency and disclosure regarding financial investments and policies in relation to all energy-related activities — including fossil-based and alternative. We support assessments ofresilience to climate risks and call for new financial instruments to stimulate alternative energy and efficiency projects as well as green bonds. This will enable climate action to be integrated with financial reporting and instruments.
- We encourage governments to set science-based global and national targets for the reduction of GHG emissions and the development of alternative energy sources.
Hastening the shift to a low-carbon economy in an economically sustainable manner will generate growth and jobs in both the developing and developed world. Delaying action is not an option — it will be costly and will damage growth prospects in the years to come. The CEO climate leaders call on government leaders and policy makers to align on global measures, to be consistent in policy-making and to develop helpful innovation frameworks.
A comprehensive, inclusive and ambitious climate deal in Paris on mitigation, adaptation and finance — in combination with a strong set of clear policy signals from the world’s leaders — is key to accelerating this transition. This opportunity should not be missed.
* We will build on the data contained in The Consensus Project of the Scientific Community on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN and the New Climate Economy Report (“Better Growth — Better Climate”) of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
We are CEOs from 43 companies and 20 economic sectors.
With operations in over 150 countries and territories, together we generated over $1.2 trillion in revenue in 2014.
Olof Persson, President and CEO, AB Volvo
Pierre Nanterme, Chairman and CEO, Accenture *
José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq, Chairman and CEO, Acciona * ^
Ton Büchner, CEO, AkzoNobel
Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management (CEO), Allianz SE
Gregory Hodkinson, Chairman, Arup Group
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group * ^
Niels B. Christiansen, President and CEO, Danfoss
Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group *
Henrik Poulsen, CEO, DONG Energy
Andrew N. Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO, Dow Chemical
Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager, Enel SpA
Hans E. Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO, GDF SUEZ *
Bernardo Gradin, CEO, GranBio Investimentos
Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Construction Company
Stuart Gulliver, Group CEO, HSBC Holdings
Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola
Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group *
Ralph Hamers, CEO, ING Group
Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu, Chairperson and CEO, Kokusai Kogyo Co. Ltd
Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO, Lafarge *
Marc Bolland, CEO, Marks and Spencer
Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman of the Board of Management, Munich Re
Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark
Eric Rondolat, CEO, Philips Lighting
Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM * ^
Frans van Houten, President and CEO, Royal Philips * ^
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric *
Franky Oesman Widjaja, Chairman and CEO, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO, Solvay *
Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, President and CEO, Statkraft *
Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO, Suez Environnement *
Takeshi Niinami, President and CEO, Suntory Holdings
Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Suzlon Energy
Michel M. Liès, Group CEO, Swiss Re
Masashi Muromachi, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation *
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever * ^
Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO, Veolia *
Anders Runevad, Group President and CEO, Vestas Wind Systems
Anthony Pratt, Executive Chairman, Visy Industries
David W. Kenny, Chairman and CEO, The Weather Company
Kuok Khoon Hong, Chairman and CEO, Wilmar International
All signatories are members of the World Economic Forum.
*Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
^Member of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change
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The Lib Dem manifesto states that they will: “Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.” However, when questioned by Eddie Mair on PM, on what the party would do in coalition – if the lead partner wanted a runway – Danny Alexander wriggled and said the party would look carefully if there was any “compelling new evidence” produced. He would not confirm the Lib Dems would stick to their new runway policy, if required to drop it in coalition. The manifesto says their Zero Carbon Britain Act will include: “A new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The Climate Change Act 2008 established an aim to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 based on the 1990 baseline.”
Liberal Democrat manifesto
“Ensure our airport infrastructure meets the needs of a modern and open economy, without allowing emissions from aviation to undermine our goal of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. We will carefully consider the conclusions of the Davies Review into runway capacity and develop a strategic airports policy for the whole of the UK in the light of those recommendations and advice from the Committee on Climate Change. We remain opposed to any expansion of Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, because of local issues of air and noise pollution. We will ensure no net increase in runways across the UK.”
“Liberal Democrats will put the environment at the heart of government policy. We will pass five green laws to establish a permanent legal framework for a prosperous, sustainable economy”
“Five green laws will be on the statute books, protecting nature and wildlife in Britain and across the world, cleaning up our air and helping fight climate change.”
“In 2020 Britain will be a force for good in the world, leading global action against climate change, tax avoidance and international crime, working to prevent conflict and offer humanitarian aid, and promoting trade, development and prosperity.”
“Place the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) on the same statutory footing as the Committee on Climate Change through our Nature Act.”
“We will improve the way government handles the cross-cutting challenges of delivering green growth and fighting climate change, establishing a senior Cabinet Committee to coordinate action and bringing together officials in inter-departmental units on issues like air quality and resource management. We will replicate the success of the Office for Budget Responsibility with an Office for Environmental Responsibility scrutinising the government’s efforts to meet its environmental targets.”
One of their 5 green laws will be:
A Zero Carbon Britain Act which will include:
– “A new legally-binding target for Zero Carbon Britain by 2050, to be monitored and audited by the Climate Change Committee (CCC). The Climate Change Act 2008 established an aim to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 based on the 1990 baseline. – 2030 power sector decarbonisation target of 50-100g per kWh, as recommended by the CCC.
– Emission Performance Standards for existing coal power stations, designed to ensure electricity generation from unabated coal will stop by 2025.
– Giving full borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank, to boost further investment in low carbon technologies. ”
“Challenges like climate change and deforestation are too massive for individual countries to tackle alone.
– Continue pushing for a 50% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the greater use of EU funds to support low-carbon investments, while ensuring the UK meets its own climate commitments and plays a leadership role in efforts to combat climate change. – – Work to secure agreement on a global climate treaty at the 2015 UN Climate Conference, supported by a well-financed Green Climate Fund to assist poorer countries to tackle and adapt to climate change.
….. ” and it continues …
Liberal Democrat manifesto at
Verbatim transcript of Danny Alexander interview by Eddie Mair on Radio 4 PM Programme on 15.4.2015
On runways. Eddie Mair asked about their policy on runways.
They are not saying before the election, waiting for the Davies Commission. They have declared their opposition to any expansion at Heathrow, Stansted or Gatwick or a new estuary airport.
Eddie Mair: [On the runway issue]. “What on earth will you do?”
Danny Alexander: “We will see what Howard Davies recommends and if there is compelling new evidence then we would obviously have a discussion about that, at our party conference, and our party conference took a very strong view just a few months back that we didn’t support new runways. I was one of those who made the argument that there’s a case for it provided the environmental tests are met. But it would only be if Howard Davies came up with compelling new evidence that we could look at that again. The position set out in our manifesto is our party’s policy which is that we don’t favour that and of course we also say that we would look Sir Howard Davies’s Commission precisely because if it does come up with some compelling new arguments that haven’t been heard before, then as a responsible party we would want to have a debate internally about those and see if that leads us to a different view.”
Eddie Mair: “Would you support in government a party thah wanted to build a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick?”
Danny Alexander: “As you will remember, in coalition agreement of 2010 there were various areas of policy where we reserved our position to abstain or to vote against …”
Eddie Mair: “People will now want to know where you stand, so that is why I am asking.”
Danny Alexander. “Where we stand is just what I have said. It is set out in our manifesto and people will have to make a judgement about the policies of each party and I think it is right that Liberal Democrats, just like Labour and the Conservatives… ” etc …. and it continues …
Eddie Mair: “But you are not telling me what you would do in a coaliton.”
Danny Alexander: “I am not pre-negotiating a coalition now any more than …..” and it continues ….
Eddie Mair: “It could go the way of tuition fees, is what you are saying …”
Danny Alexander: .… ” the more Liberal Democrat MPs there are the more opportunity we will have to deliver these policies.” ….. and it continues.
PM programme. Section on runways starts 14:40 into the programme
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The Green Party says: “Long-distance travel by air is one of the most energy-intensive and polluting forms of transport and causes health-damaging local pollution near airports. Aviation fuel goes untaxed and there is no VAT on tickets, amounting to a £16 billion a year subsidy in the UK. We need a shift in priority, removing subsidies from air travel to invest in public transport that supports the common good.” …. “Against this backdrop, mainstream transport policy, which urges us to travel further and faster than ever before, is senseless, yet this is what all parties except the Green Party offer you.” …. “The key to getting this right is to manage demand rather than increase it; that is, to reduce the need to travel in the first place. ” [Though most of the suggestions deal with local travel, they include]: – “Encourage alternatives to travel, such as video-conferencing. ” …” The major challenge for our transport system is to decarbonise it and end its reliance on fossil fuels. We would: …. End the favourable tax treatment of aviation and have a separate target for aviation emissions below 37.5 million tonnes CO2 equivalent a year.”… And: “Stop airport expansion, in particular no new runways at either Heathrow or Gatwick, and ban night flying.”
Also: “Like so much else, the UK has got transport upside down. The big picture is a world of finite resources, especially the type that runs much of our transport – petroleum. This is running out, and we know we need to leave much of what is left in the ground. We have to create a transport system based on sustainable alternatives.”
This is the Green Party manifesto:
Read more »
Six local groups and four MPs opposing a 2nd Gatwick runway, and the increased noise nuisance caused by Gatwick airport, handed in a letter to 10 Downing Street today. They urge the government to recognise the strength of local opposition to a 2nd Gatwick runway, and changes to flight paths. They are asking the Prime Minister to recognise the devastating impact of a 2nd runway, the lack of local political support and the strength of feeling among local residents against changes to flight paths already in and out of Gatwick. The delegation will hand in the letter, signed by the chairs of the groups representing residents in Sussex, Kent and Surrey, that surround Gatwick and are affected by it. Together, the groups represent tens of thousands of people. Sally Pavey, Chair of local group CAGNE commented: “Throughout this process, we’ve been hugely disappointed with Gatwick’s lack of consultation with the local area. CEO Stewart Wingate continues to portray the airport as an ‘easy option’ for expansion, while ignoring the concerns of thousands of local residents. Also that it will cost the taxpayer billions in infrastructure bills and the devaluation of vast areas of the south-east with aircraft noise.” CAGNE have also submitted an official complaint to the Airports Commission, on the actions of Gatwick airport in lobbying Heathrow councils to back a Gatwick runway.
Gatwick opposition groups urge PM to recognise devastating impact
– Anti-Gatwick campaigners and 5 senior MPs deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street at 2pm Monday 23rd March
– They urge government to recognise the strength of local opposition to Gatwick Airport over 2nd runway and changes to flight paths
Photo outside Number 10 Downing Street. Local campaign groups representating residents from East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey, with four senior MPs – Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley, Crispin Blunt and Nick Herbert. A joint statement opposing Gatwick expansion and the changes to flights paths was handed in to the Prime Minister. Representatives for residents groups were Sally Pavey CAGNE West Sussex; John Byng GACC; Simon Byerley of Gatwick Obviously Not and CAGNE EAST – East Sussex and Kent; Ian Hare of PAGNE Pulborough; Mike Ward Plane Wrong Surrey and Jane Vogt GACC and Kent.
[NB – An additional official complaint has been logged by CAGNE with the Airports Commission on Gatwick’s executive’s behaviour concerning the consultation and London Borough Councils around Heathrow.]
Six local campaign groups opposed to Gatwick expansion and four senior MPs will call on the government today to recognise the devastating impact of a second runway at Gatwick, the lack of local political support and the strength of feeling among local residents against changes to flight paths already in and out of Gatwick.
Organised by Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE (Communities against Gatwick Noise and Emissions), the group will hand-deliver a letter signed by the chairs of all the groups representing all the areas, Sussex, Kent and Surrey, that surround Gatwick to 10 Downing Street this afternoon.
Together, the groups represent tens of thousands of people covering West Sussex, Surrey, East Sussex and Kent with the MPs adding millions to the number of residents represented in these areas.
Speaking about why the groups were coming together today, Sally Pavey said:
“A two-runway Gatwick would devastate the local area and local communities.
“Throughout this process, we’ve been hugely disappointed with Gatwick’s lack of consultation with the local area. CEO Stewart Wingate continues to portray the airport as an ‘easy option’ for expansion, while ignoring the concerns of thousands of local residents and that it will cost the taxpayer billions in infrastructure bills and the devaluation of vast areas of the southeast with aircraft noise.
“It’s time people realised the truth. Gatwick expansion will destroy our local environment, push local services beyond their limits and expose up to 30,000 people to noise for the very first time, all facts ignored by Gatwick’s CEO.”
“If Gatwick refuse to hear us, we hope the Prime Minister and those in government will.”
Crispin Blunt MP and Chair of the MP group that opposes Gatwick commented:
“The unremitting noise pollution being suffered by residents underneath new concentrated flight paths at Gatwick, following the implementation of Precision Navigation in 2013-14, has galvanised local residents groups around Gatwick to stop take-off and landing routes that create unmitigated noise pollution to residents.
“The united message being delivered to the Prime Minister today is that changes to Gatwick’s implementation of Precision Navigation are needed urgently and the last thing local people need is a new runway at Gatwick which would subject thousands of new people to aircraft noise.
Penshurst residents, supported by all the protest groups that surround Gatwick, have raised £100,000 and employed the high profile QC John Steele to serve a Judicial Review on the Civil Aviation Authority. Details here.
In addition an Official Complaint has been made to the Airports Commission
The campaign groups’ visit to Downing Street comes on the same day as CAGNE has made an official complaint to the Airports Commission about the “unethical” actions of Gatwick’s PR team. Letter copied below.
Email exchanges between representatives of Gatwick’s PR team and local parish councils in the Heathrow area expose Gatwick’s efforts to encourage local authorities around Heathrow to campaign for Gatwick. See text of an email from Gatwick asking councils around Heathrow to back Gatwick – copied below.
Commenting on the complaint, Pavey explained:
“Gatwick has deliberately avoided open consultation with its most important stakeholders – local residents.
“We’ve now discovered that all this time they’ve actively encouraged Heathrow’s local authorities to support a second runway. It’s unethical and must be challenged.
“The fact remains that 12 local authority and local area MPs around Gatwick do not support their plans. It’s no wonder given a second runway would destroy the tranquillity of Sussex, not to mention Gatwick’s complete disregard of local concerns.”
Downing Street visit
The campaign groups will deliver its letter to the door of 10 Downing Street at 2pm on Monday 23rd March
Local authorities opposed to Gatwick expansion:
§ West Sussex County Council has voted 37 : 26 to switch from support in principle to opposition.
§ Kent County Council previously supported a second runway, now opposes it.
§ Surrey County Council opposes a new runway unless the necessary infrastructure is first provided.
§ Crawley Borough Council has voted 25 :11 to oppose a second runway.
§ Horsham District Council voted 23 : 1 to oppose.
§ Mid Sussex District Council opposes second runway.
§ Mole Valley District Council unanimously oppose.
§ Sevenoaks District Council has decided to oppose.
§ Tandridge District Council has responded reiterating their core strategy to oppose a new runway.
§ Tunbridge Wells District Council has voted 39:1 to oppose second runway.
§ Horley Town Council and East Grinstead Town Council have voted to oppose.
§ Reigate and Banstead Borough has taken a firm decision not to take a decision.
In addition, nearly all the 50 or more parish councils around Gatwick are opposed to a second runway.
Local MPs opposed to Gatwick expansion
Gatwick Coordination Group
§ Crispin Blunt MP (Reigate) – Attending Number 10
§ Sir John Stanley MP (Tonbridge and Malling) – Attending Number 10
§ Charles Hendry MP (Wealden) – Attending Number 10
§ Sir Nicholas Soames MP (Mid-Sussex) – Attending Number 10
§ Sir Paul Beresford MP (Mole Valley)
§ Nick Herbert MP (Arundel and South Downs) – Attending Number 10
The Gatwick Coordination Group’s opposition and response to the Airports Commission consultation was also supported by Rt Hon Francis Maude MP (Horsham).
Sam Gyimah MP (East Surrey) has also opposed Gatwick’s expansion plans.
Contact Sally Pavey 07831 632537
Letter to the Prime Minister from the Gatwick groups
23rd March 2015Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
SW1A 2AADear Prime Minister
All Gatwick Campaign Groups – The United Message
This statement of objectives, below, has been developed in response to the existing and potentially negative impacts of airspace changes at Gatwick Airport.The re-organisation of airspace infrastructure around Gatwick has led to the introduction of changes in aircraft routing, based on technology changes in order to increase the runway throughput.The changes have failed to properly take account of the impact of aircraft noise and noise shadows on the communities affected and have failed to meet government policy that is to reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise.More people are now significantly affected by aircraft noise and further use of concentration will only exacerbate this statistic.We, the undersigned, therefore propose the following:
The United Message
To Strongly oppose the building of a new runway at Gatwick Airport.Arrivals
• Using PBN to achieve maximum dispersal of flight approach paths without using merge points.
• Using PBN to achieve the greatest possible safe height with smooth Continual Descent Approach at all times
• Noise and noise shadow rather than Co2 to be the primary environmental consideration down from 6,000 feet in the design of all arrival routes
• No night flights (currently defined as 11.30pm -6am)Departures
• Using PBN to achieve the maximum dispersal of flight departure paths (restricted to areas previously overflown) within Noise Preferential Routes
• Using PBN to achieve the greatest possible safe height with smooth Continual Ascent Departure at all times
• Noise and noise shadow rather than Co2 to be the primary environmental consideration up to 6,000 feet in the design of all departure routes
• No night flights (currently defined as 11.30pm -6am)
We wish to record the fact that communities within our groups are in tranquil, rural areas and are significantly affected by noise below 10,000ft. We are hopeful that the plight of these communities can be improved through our proposed change in policy to use PBN for maximum dispersal for flight arrivals and departures.
The Airbus (single aisle aircraft series) design fault
Issue: The A320 series of aircraft have a design fault in their wing fuel filler caps, which cause a debilitating whine. A straightforward fix exists via the fitting of a ‘vortex generator’
Resolution: Ensure the retrofitting of vortex generators to correct this fault on aircraft used by operators at the soonest opportunity, by all means possible
Signatories on behalf of communities in West Sussex, Surrey, East Sussex and Kent:
CAGNE Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions
ESCCAN East Sussex Communities for the Control of Air Noise
GACC Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
GON Gatwick Obviously NOT
PAGNE Pulborough Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions
Plane Wrong Plane Wrong
Also representing –
CAGNE East Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions East
LGVS Langton Green Village Society
SPAG Speldhurst Action Group
Letter from CAGNE to the Airports Commission
18th March 2015
Sir Howard Davies
20 Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
Dear Sir Howard
CAGNE would like to make a formal complaint about the actions of Gatwick Airport’s Public Relations executive relating to the attached email sent to residents and councils around Heathrow. It is now quite clear that many Commission submissions made from councils in West London have been led and worded by Gatwick.
Given the deliberate lack of consultation by Gatwick executives with its own neighbours in Sussex and Kent, the resourcing of a number of full time staff to consult with Heathrow locals is unethical and is in open defiance of your Commission’s appraisal framework.
It states that “The Commission believes that it is important for local communities most affected by airport development to be properly engaged and consulted. The Commission wishes to examine how scheme promoters intend to manage their engagement with communities throughout the lifespan of the proposed project, including the period after any new infrastructure is delivered.”
As you are aware, the first time concerned residents in Sussex and Kent were able to ask questions of executives from Gatwick was at the Airports Commission public consultation. Since that time, Gatwick have resumed their policy of obfuscation relating to the expansion plans of the airport and the effect on our communities.
The resourcing of Gatwick staff to consult with Heathrow communities was raised at the last GATCOM meeting and Gatwick executive, Charles Kirwan Taylor, suggested this is standard practice and that Heathrow would have done the same.
None of the councils at that meeting have received such a communication from Heathrow executives encouraging them to vote for expansion at Heathrow instead of Gatwick.
The fact that Gatwick is spending millions of pounds in advertising and posters around Heathrow and none locally, reinforces the fact Gatwick have not consulted or engaged with local residents or councils.
By ignoring this key part of the appraisal framework, it is no surprise that 12 local authorities, 8 MPs, airlines, big business and residents groups that surround Gatwick all oppose expansion would suggest we have been totally ignored by Gatwick management.
On this basis alone, the submission by Gatwick as a short-listed option for the Airports Commission should be withdrawn.
Chair of CAGNE
cc Prime Minister David Cameron
Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin
Rt Hon Francis Maude MP
Crispin Blunt MP
Nick Herbert MP
Sir Nicholas Soames MP
Charles Hendry MP
Sam Gyimah MP
Sir John Stanley MP
Sir Paul Beresford MP
Henry Smith MP
George Osborne MP
Text of email from Gatwick airport to local councils around Heathrow to get them to back a Gatwick runway.
From: Russell Guthrie [mailto:Russell.Guthrie@gatwickairport.com]
Sent: 15 January 2015 14:12
To: ………….. X Y Z
Subject: Supporting Gatwick
Dear parish council and residents association
I hope you don’t mind the unsolicited email, but I have been prompted to write to you after being contacted by several other parish councils and residents associations in the Heathrow area recently. All of them expressed concern about the effect of Heathrow’s third runway plan and asked whether there was anything their members could do to support a new runway at Gatwick.
The simple answer is yes – there are two things your members could do if they choose. I have highlighted both methods below and, assuming you think the cause is worthwhile, I wondered if you would be willing to ‘cascade’ this information to all your members via email or any other method at your disposal?
The first way to support Gatwick is by responding to the Airports Commission’s consultation telling them why you oppose a third runway at Heathrow. The consultation closes on Tuesday 3 February so there is not a great deal of time left to do this. I have set out how to respond online, via email and by post below, and have also attached a summary of why we think Gatwick has the stronger case to build a new runway. These may help people fill out the consultation form more quickly and easily, although respondents do not have to answer every question on the form.
The second way to support Gatwick is to register your support. The Airports Commission will be made aware of total number of people supporting Gatwick, so it is important that as many people as possible register their support.
Should you wish to respond to the consultation, please make your voice heard before 3 February by emailing the Airports Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org, by filling in their online survey or by writing to: …. address given …)
How do I register my support for Gatwick? Simply fill in your name and email address on the website linked to below: http://www.gatwickobviously.com/mailing-list-sign-up/standard
Why is Gatwick the right location for a new runway? See attached document. (not attached here).
My Colleague Hannah Staunton, Head of Community Engagement at Gatwick Airport can answer any questions you might have & can be contacted on email@example.com
Senior Media Campaigns Manager
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Gatwick Airport has a blog on its website by Karen Lumley, the Conservative MP for Redditch. She is a keen aviation expansion supporter, and in her blog backs Gatwick over Heathrow, for a new runway. Ideally she – and other MPs in the Birmingham area – would like to see Birmingham airport expanded. But they are nervous of Heathrow expanding, as it is close enough to take trade away from Birmingham. But Gatwick is far enough away not to be a direct threat. Birmingham is too far south to have a flight to a London airport (train travel is fast and easy), so the new London runway idea cannot be “sold” to them with promises of new connecting flights in future – which works for airports further away. The attitude of Manchester airport, significantly further north than Birmingham, is to oppose either new runway, at Heathrow or Gatwick, due to the amount of public money which would inevitably have to be spent on transport and social infrastructure – even if the airports paid for all the on-airport costs of the expansion.
NEW BLOG: “WHY BRITAIN’S SECOND CITY BACKS A GATWICK SECOND RUNWAY”
16.3.2015 (Gatwick Airport website)
Karen Lumley MP on why Birmingham is backing Gatwick for the greater competition it offers the UK’s regions
“While the airports expansion discussion has predominantly focussed on the fates of two London airports – Heathrow and Gatwick – the pressing issue of regional connectivity has also entered the debate this week. And rightly so.
“At face value this is simply a debate about two London airports but dig deeper and it also has a bearing on passengers and businesses the length and breadth of the UK – which London airport is allowed to expand presents either a huge opportunity or a very real danger for the UK’s regions.
“There is no denying Heathrow is a fantastic airport – I have used it many times and had the pleasure of attending the opening of Terminal 2 last year. But single-mindedly expanding the UK’s biggest airport is short-sighted and not the answer the UK needs from the current debate.
“Rather than expanding Heathrow and reinforcing its dominant market position at the expense of other airports, the real opportunity this debate offers us is the chance for greater competition.
“Following the break-up of the BAA monopoly in 2009, we have seen a more competitive airport market in recent years – it is no coincidence that airports like Manchester or Birmingham Airport near my own constituency have thrived in recent years, seeing record passenger numbers and new long-haul connections.
“Competition has been shown to work and it must be given chance to continue.
“If we are to give the green light to the multi-billion pound expansion of one of London’s airports, it has to be done in a way that does not threaten the future of other UK airports.
“My long-term preference is for Birmingham Airport to be give chance to expand, but I am pragmatic and realise we will have to fight one battle at a time. So the current debate gives us a straight choice between Gatwick and Heathrow – we need to make a decision that is not only right for what the UK needs now, but which also paves the way for future debates involving other UK airports.
“It is for that reason that myself and other key figures in Britain’s second city are backing a second runway at Gatwick.
“It is the only option that gives us the extra capacity and economic boost we need but without closing the door on the ambitions of other UK airports to compete and grow in future.
“In such a lengthy, complex debate there are no easy answers but it seems to be the closest we will get to a win-win solution – Gatwick gets bigger, Heathrow gets better and other airports around the UK can continue to grow in the future.”
Report by Oxera for Birmingham Airport criticises Commission’s analysis on impacts of Heathrow runway on regional airports
Birmingham Airport has commissioned a study by economic analysts, Oxera, to look at the Airports Commission’s analysis of impacts of Heathrow expansion on regional airports – Birmingham in particular. Oxera believes a 3rd Heathrow runway would exacerbate, rather than reduce, regional imbalances and by sucking more business into the south-east, Heathrow expansion would just widen the north/south divide. Oxera say the methodology used by PwC, on behalf of the Airports Commission, could hide winners and losers in UK regions, and underplays the negative effect that Heathrow expansion could have on some UK regions. They believe there should be better analysis of where the national losses and gains would be, and how they would be distributed. CEO of Birmingham, Paul Kehoe, seems to be more in favour of a Gatwick runway, which presumably threatens Birmingham less. Kehoe said: “Whilst Heathrow is essential and must remain a world class airport for the UK and for the Midlands to grow, Heathrow must become complementary to Birmingham Airport. More capacity at Heathrow would limit our region’s ambitions.” The Midlands claims to be responsible for 16% of all UK exports.
See also, about Heathrow trying to entice regional airports with promises of domestic flight links in future:
Heathrow would spend £10 million to increase some domestic flights, only if granted a 3rd runway, to get backing from regions
Heathrow has increasingly cut the number of flights to UK regional airports, as it has become more uneconomic for the airlines to run them – and long haul international routes are more profitable. But Heathrow is aware that it needs to get the backing of regional airports, in order to lobby to be allowed a 3rd runway. Heathrow therefore suggested the setting up of a National Connectivity Task Force. In order to boost flights to the regions, Heathrow now says that – only IF it gets a new runway – it will spend £10 million on for the development of 5 new domestic routes, for 3 years. These would include Newquay, Humberside and Liverpool. That would be in addition to the 4 extra routes that easyJet has said it wants to operate if there is a Heathrow runway, to Inverness, Belfast International, the Isle of Man and Jersey. There are currently 6 domestic routes from Heathrow (Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle). Heathrow also said it would launch a review of its airport charges in the coming weeks to focus on making domestic flights more commercially attractive (cheaper) to airlines. The results of this consultation, which is not dependent upon getting a new runway, will be effective from January 2016.
Click here to view full story…
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The huge “Time To Act” on Climate Change march was held in London on Saturday 7th March. There was a good turnout, described by some as “over 5,000” and by others as nearer 20,000 (numbers are always hard to be accurate on). The “No New Runways” bloc had a good attendance, from Gatwick and from Heathrow opposition groups, as well as many individuals. Gatwick protesters from CAGNE wore pantomime devil horns, and T-shirts with the logo “Gatwick, Neighbour From Hell.” Many people who stand to lose their homes, to be bulldozed for a new Heathrow runway, too part. The AirportWatch banner read “No New Runways”, and another” Aviation Expansion = Climate Threat. The runway bloc were with others in the transport bloc, and marched from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Parliament, where the speeches took place. During the speeches John McDonnell (the MP for Hayes and Harlington, which the Heathrow north west runway would wipe out) spoke of the need for climate action, not least to oppose a new runway – digging up the village of Harmondsworth. He described the level of protest and direct action that would happen, if the north west runway was recommended, as unprecedented and the “mother of” all environmental battles. The aim of the march is to put pressure on political parties before the general election, and raise the profile of climate change ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris in December.
CAGNE protesters from Gatwick.(with Stewart Wingate masks).
One of the aviation banners.
Heathrow campaigners and Gatwick campaigners united against either new runway
The “No New Runways” banner outside the gates of Downing Street.
The banners, and the marchers, arrive at Parliament.
People’s Climate March In London Draws 5,000, Including Russell Brand And Naomi Klein
By Paul Vale
7/03/2015 (Huffington Post)
More than 5,000 protesters gathered in London on Saturday for a climate change march, which is to end with a rally outside Parliament.
The event is one of around 2,500 around the world calling for tougher action on climate change.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Climate change is here, visible, and we know it’s time to act. …It’s time to stand up against those determined to burn the last drops of oil and gas and be confident in our power to build a better future. In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us.”
She added: “Young people, parents, grandparents, those new to the movement and veteran campaigners, we can all play our part, demanding our government legislate for the common good and not short-term vested interests. We’re raising our voices for a year of climate action the UK and the world has never seen before.”
Last September Emma Thompson and her daughter joined thousands of people at the 2014 People’s Climate March in London.
Vivienne Westwood addressed the protesters by video link, warning “the clock is ticking.” The fashion designer said: “As you march my models will be walking down the catwalk. It’s very important you are there. I believe this demo is super important for the whole world. At the moment we in the UK need to do two things to handle everything for the best, we need to demonstrate, we need to vote in the elections.”
She continued: “The main parties just want power, they believe everything should be owned by a few people that don’t want change. We want MPs who don’t agree with the old system. The press and the TV do not reflect public opinion, the internet does. You’re not alone, people know what’s going on. We must keep up the fight against climate change, the clock is ticking.”
She was joined by Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He said: “We are delighted to see a growing alliance between workers and climate activists demanding a just solution to climate change. It is sick that millions around the world suffer without energy.”
He added: “It is sick the energy companies push the prices through the roof… multinationals care not a damn for you or their families but about their profits, that’s what this system is built on. For us the answer is in democracy and that means challenging those who are in power. I ask, do you trust the banks to deal with climate change? Do you trust the multinationals to deal with with climate change? No. That’s why we say it’s time to put our democracy where it belongs, with ordinary people across the world.”
John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, added: “We can have clean energy, we can have clean jobs, we can have clean power if everyone on this planet is to stick together. This year is going to be the most important year, this is going to be the start of the biggest mobilisation we have seen on this issue of climate change and poverty.”
A few days earlier, John McDonnell (MP for Hayes and Harlington) said:
Real action on climate change is the demand from thousands of people, including PCS members, who are expected to march in London on Saturday.
The Time to Act on Climate Change march brings people together on the streets of London to demand real change and tell politicians seeking election that there is no mandate for climate-wrecking business as usual. The march was initiated by the Campaign against Climate Change, who are carrying forward overall responsibility for administration, budget and logistics. But it has always been envisaged as a coalition event, in the spirit of the People’s Climate March.
Across the UK people are already building change – from divestment of funds which prop up the fossil fuel industry, to frontline communities fighting unsustainable energy extraction and fracking, through to those paving the way for a transition towards a 100% renewable energy future which would bring about an estimated one million new climate jobs in the UK alone. This is a campaign backed by PCS.
Saturday’s demonstration aims to put pressure on political parties before the general election, and raise the profile of climate change ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris in December. It is also intended to energise and strengthen the climate movement – not an end-point but a stepping stone, it will be followed by local action immediately before the general election, the Climate Coalitionlobby of parliament in June and planning throughout 2015 towards the Paris meeting.
Speakers on the day include:
- Caroline Lucas (Green party MP)
- Chris Baugh (PCS assistant general secretary)
- John McDonnell (PCS parliamentary group chair)
- Matt Wrack (FBU general secretary)
- Francesca Martinez (Comedian, speaker, actress, writer and campaigner for a fairer system).
Time to Act: climate change protesters march in London
Caroline Lucas among speakers and Naomi Klein records video message for event, which is part of a series in cities around the world
7 March 2015 (Guardian)
Thousands of climate change protesters gathered in central London on Saturday to urge strong action at the Paris climate conference in December.
Protesters set off from Lincoln’s Inn Fields and headed for Westminster to hear from speakers including the Green party MP Caroline Lucas and the head of Greenpeace UK John Sauven.
The Campaign Against Climate Change, who organised the march, said “well over 20,000” people attended. The number of attendees was buoyed by the bright sunshine of early spring. Last September 40,000 people took to London’s streets as part of the biggest demonstration on climate change action in history.
Sauven said the protest on Saturday was the first step in a year of climate action. “This is much smaller in terms of its aims and objectives [than the global day of action in 2014]. But I think it’s also just the beginning. By the time we get to Paris then we have to have far bigger numbers than we had last year in September.”
Lucas said climate change was visible and demanded action. “It’s time to stand up against those determined to burn the last drops of oil and gas and be confident in our power to build a better future,” she said. “In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us.”
She said there had been a failure of political leadership: “It’s a refusal on the part of most politicians to stand up to fossil fuel lobbyists, listen to the scientists, and act in the public interest.”
The author Naomi Klein urged grassroots activists to redouble their efforts during the months before December’s climate change conference in Paris. In a video message for the rally, she said it was not only political leaders who held the power to act on climate change.
“Here we are, with just nine months ahead of those critical climate talks in Paris. It’s not nine months to pressure our leaders to act. We have nine months to act ourselves. Nine months to become the leaders we need. To lead from below, from the streets, from the neighbourhoods, from the smallest towns to the biggest cities,” the author said.
The designer Vivienne Westwood, who also made a video message, said: “You’re not alone, people know what’s going on. We must keep up the fight against climate change, the clock is ticking.”
Leila Wilmers, 30, who attended the rally, said both government and big business needed to do more than “just telling people to switch their lightbulbs off and so on”.
Andrew Musser, 30, a physicist at Cambridge University, said: “The government policy is quite bizarre. They say they’re concerned about the environment but then they propose wide-scale fracking. I think they need to move to renewable energy, particularly hydropower and solar power.”
The Guardian has launched a campaign to examine the consequences of climate change. Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief, wrote: “The coming debate is about two things: what governments can do to attempt to regulate, or otherwise stave off, the now predictably terrifying consequences of global warming beyond 2C by the end of the century. And how we can prevent the states and corporations which own the planet’s remaining reserves of coal, gas and oil from ever being allowed to dig most of it up. We need to keep them in the ground.”
Metropolitan police officers were stationed around the march following a back down on their previous refusal to police peaceful protests last month.
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GreenAir online reports that Germany has become the first EU country to publish a list of aircraft operators that have not complied with the EU ETS for emissions in 2012. Other countries have not published lists, but the number not complying is thought to be quite high. According to the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), fines totalling €5,363,400 have been levied on the 44 operators named. Most are small aircraft operators. Under Article 16 of the EU directive that brought aviation into the EU ETS, EU member states must publish the names of aircraft operators they administer that are in breach of requirements to surrender sufficient allowances to cover their emissions. For 2012, the allowances were required to be submitted by the end of April 2013 but nearly two years on, an unspecified number of airlines and smaller aircraft operators remain non-compliant. The penalties are €100 for each tonne of CO2 emitted for which the aircraft operator has not surrendered allowances. It is clear that there is a reluctance by states to publish publicly-available lists of non-compliant airlines, particularly those from outside Europe. This is likely to be due to “political sensitivities” as discussions continue at an international level to agree a global market-based measure for aviation CO2.
Germany fines aircraft operators $5.9 million as it publishes first Aviation EU ETS non-compliance list
From GreenAir online
Germany has become the first EU country to publish a list of aircraft operators that have not complied with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in 2012, the first year of the aviation sector’s inclusion.
According to the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), fines totalling €5,363,400 ($5.9m) have been levied on the 44 operators named. Most are small aircraft operators but two major German airlines, Air Berlin and Condor, have surprisingly found their way onto the list. The two carriers say this was due to small discrepancies in reporting and have received only small fines. Notable by their absence are Air China and Aeroflot, which both operated flights within the European Economic Area (EEA) during 2012 and so are still subject to the reduced scope of the EU ETS but whose governments have not permitted them to comply.
Under Article 16 of the EU directive that brought aviation into the EU ETS, EU member states must publish the names of aircraft operators they administer that are in breach of requirements to surrender sufficient allowances to cover their emissions but until now have not done so.
For 2012, the allowances were required to be submitted by the end of April 2013 but nearly two years on, an unspecified number of airlines and smaller aircraft operators remain non-compliant.
The directive requires member states to issue penalties amounting to €100 for each tonne of CO2 emitted for which the aircraft operator has not surrendered allowances. The operator is still required to purchase and surrender the requisite number of allowances on top of the fine.
In order to surrender allowances, operators must open an account in the Union Registry, where the reported verified emissions data is recorded on the EU Transaction Log (EUTL). If the operator has complied up to this point and the emissions have been reported then working out the penalty for not surrendering is easy. However, difficulties arise if the operator has not reported its emissions and fails to respond to approaches from its appointed administering national Competent Authority, which then has to rely on data from Eurocontrol. Operators are then given time to appeal against estimated emissions, which can also add to the delay in enforcement.
Each member state will have transposed the directive into its national legislation differently so enforcement procedures and ‘naming and shaming’ reporting varies from state to state.
What has been clear is a reluctance by states to publish publicly-available lists of non-compliant airlines, particularly those from outside Europe. Some argue this is because of political sensitivities as discussions continue at an international level to agree a global market-based measure that is intended to do away with Europe’s carbon trading scheme.
The original full scope of the EU ETS, which was designed to encompass emissions from all flights to and from the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as intra-EEA flights, was fiercely and successfully fought by the major powers such as India, China, Russia and the United States.
Carriers from the United States that operate flights between airports in the EEA are largely complying with the reduced intra-EEA scope agreed by the EU institutions last year.
However, Indian and Chinese airlines operating similarly within Europe are still refusing to comply on orders from their authorities, as well as some Russian operators such as the majority state-owned Aeroflot.
India’s main airlines serving Europe, Air India and Jet Airways, report to the UK’s nominated Competent Authority, the Environment Agency, but neither appears to have complied with the regulations for 2012, although it is unclear if they operated any intra-EU flights in 2012.
Under UK legislation, the names of EU ETS non-compliers are meant to be published by the end of each June but so far no list has appeared for 2012.
Both Aeroflot and China’s flag carrier Air China report to Germany but neither appears on the list just published by DEHSt.
During the 2012 compliance period, Air China operated regular passenger flights between Athens and Munich, and Aeroflot carried out regular cargo flights between Frankfurt and Helsinki. DEHSt will not comment on individual cases but says non-appearance on the list may be due to a “definitive payment order” not existing, which essentially means the process has not been fully completed and so other names may be added to the list at a later date.
According to DEHSt, aircraft operators have been issued with tax penalties totalling €5,363,400 ($5.9m) for not meeting their 2012 obligations, with the largest fine amounting to €3,017,800 ($3.3m) and the smallest €80 ($88).
Airberlin, Germany’s biggest airline after Lufthansa, said it received a “comparatively small” fine of less than €1,000 ($1,100). “This was due to a marginal discrepancy between the number of allowances submitted to DEHSt and the actual emissions on a particular airport pair in 2012,” a spokesperson explained to GreenAir.
A spokesperson for Condor said the reason for its fine was due to technical problems concerning the transmission of data but confirmed all issues had been satisfactorily resolved.
Other names on the DEHSt list include US cargo carriers Ryan International and Evergreen International, although both have since ceased operations having filed for bankruptcy. Another US airline listed, World Airways, stopped operations a year ago but according to the EUTL surrendered the required number of allowances but possibly not until after the deadline.
Although it has not published a list, the French Competent Authority, DGAC, is understood to have recently started issuing non-compliant aircraft operators with fines. The Flemish authorities, whilst not having published any names, is believed to have fined Saudi Arabian Airlines around €800,000 ($880,000) some months ago.
According to the European Commission, over 100 non-EU aircraft operators carried out intra-EEA flights during 2012, most of which complied with the EU ETS, pointed out an official.
DEHSt – List of EU ETS non-compliant operators for 2012
Related GreenAir Online articles:
Russian airline, Aeroflot, to challenge fines for non-payment of EU ETS charges for 2012
The European Emissions Trading System charged airlines, during 2012, for their emissions while flying into or from European airports, in EU airspace. For non EU countries, a European country administered the payments. The payments from Russian airlines are administered by Germany. Three Russian airlines paid in full for their emissions. However, Aeroflot did not. Now Germany has confirmed that Aeroflot is being fined for its non-payment. Aeroflot has sent a “protest” letter to the European Parliament and is preparing to lodge an appeal at being asked to pay a €215,600 fine. Aeroflot says: “In response to the IATA recommendations and like other air companies, Aeroflot has prepared a protest letter to the European Parliament” …and they are “preparing to file an appeal on the unacceptability of issuing fines against the air company.” The payments are only for 2012, before “stop the clock” brought an end to payments. The compromise deal agreed by the European Parliament in early April 2014 means that, until 2017, only flights between EU airports will be regulated, not flights to or from the EU.
Click here to view full story…
Scope of coverage of aviation by EU Emissions Trading System now slashed by 75% until 2017
May 1, 2014
The compromise deal agreed by the European Parliament in early April means that, until 2017, only flights between EU airports will be regulated, not flights to or from the EU. So the result is that this only covers about 25% of the total EU aviation carbon emissions. About 75% of the total emissions, which were covered in the first year of the ETS, are now not covered – and will not be for years. The inclusion of aviation in the ETS, agreed in 2008, covered emissions from all flights to, from and within Europe and entered force in 2012. However, an interim one-year freeze of the law, known as ‘stop the clock’, was hurriedly agreed in late 2012 to allow time for the UN’s aviation body, ICAO, to agree a global measure to reduce aviation emissions at its 2013 triennial assembly. The EU decision included a provision that if ICAO fails to agree a global measure by 2017, the original ETS, with full coverage, will ‘snapback’ then. Bill Hemmings, sustainable aviation manager at T&E commented :”Just when the IPCC’s latest report shows how climate change is already affecting every aspect of human life, European governments and politicians have chosen to effectively scrap the only law in the world that attempts to curb aviation’s soaring emissions.”
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The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has written to the Airports Commission (AC) in response to its consultation. The letter reiterates the Committee’s earlier recommendation that the Airports Commission’s economic analysis of the expansion options should reflect the need to restrain aviation growth in order to manage emissions from the sector. This in effect means that the costs of limiting emissions – which may be transferred to passengers or industry – are included in the cost-benefit analysis for each of the 3 runway schemes. The AC has yet to complete this assessment. The CCC is clear that the Government’s airports policy should reflect the need for aviation emissions to be no higher in 2050 than in 2005, this being the maximum level of emissions that would be compatible with the Climate Change Act. However, the ‘uncapped’ forecasts for national aviation emissions produced by the AC exceed the 2005 emissions levels under all three possible expansion options. In the absence of some unspecified policy that would limit emissions, therefore, a new runway would result in the UK failing in its legal climate commitments. The CCC letter says “Higher aviation emissions than 2005 levels in 2050 should not be planned for, since this would imply greater than 85% cuts in other sectors; there is limited confidence about the scope for this.”
Climate change committee: is airport expansion viable when emissions are capped?
Feb 19 2015 (Aviation Environment Federation)
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has written to the Airports Commission in response to the recent consultation on shortlisted expansion options at Heathrow and Gatwick. The letter reiterates the Committee’s earlier recommendation that the Airports Commission’s economic analysis of the expansion options should reflect the need to restrain aviation growth in order to manage emissions from the sector. This in effect means that the costs of limiting emissions – which may be transferred to passengers or industry – are included in the cost-benefit analysis for each of the three expansion schemes. The Airports Commission has yet to complete this assessment.
The letter states that passenger growth could be constrained either directly through “limiting demand in a balanced manner across existing capacity” or indirectly through a form of carbon tax or carbon trading system. AEF’s response to the consultation highlighted how difficult either of these options would be in practice if a new runway was built. Limiting emissions to the level recommended by CCC could require:
– The introduction of a carbon tax, rising with time to between £329 and £1316 by 2050 according to the Commission’s own analysis,
– The introduction of planning caps on activity at regional airports
– Requirement of sectors other than aviation to make cuts in emissions beyond the level currently deemed feasible by the Committee on Climate Change, to allow for further leniency for aviation
The CCC is clear that the Government’s airports policy should reflect the need for aviation emissions to be no higher in 2050 than in 2005, this being the maximum level of emissions that would be compatible with the Climate Change Act. However, the ‘uncapped’ forecasts for national aviation emissions produced by the Airports Commission exceed the 2005 emissions levels under all three possible expansion options.
In the absence of some unspecified policy that would limit emissions, therefore, a new runway would result in the UK failing in its legal climate commitments..
Letter: Response to Airports Commission consultation on increasing the UK’s long-term aviation capacity
To: Sir Howard Davies, Chairman, Airports Commission
The CCC has written to the Airports Commission in response to their consultation on increasing the UK’s long-term aviation capacity. The letter recommends that given the need to limit aviation demand growth in a carbon-constrained world, this should be reflected in the economic analysis of infrastructure investments.
Letter to Sir Howard Davies from CCC
The letter says:
Sir Howard Davies
20 Great Smith Street
3rd February 2015
I am writing to you in response to your consultation on increasing the UK’s long-term
In our letter to you in July 20131 we highlighted that in assessing appropriate
investments in aviation infrastructure, it is essential to recognise that aviation
emissions are included in the 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
80% compared to 1990 levels, set in the Climate Change Act:
Our analysis has illustrated how the 80% target could be achieved with aviation
emissions at 2005 levels in 2050, and by reducing other sectors by 85%.
Aviation emissions at 2005 levels could be achieved with fuel and operational
efficiency improvements, use of sustainable biofuels and by limiting demand
growth to around 60% by 2050 compared to 2005.
Higher aviation emissions than 2005 levels in 2050 should not be planned for,
since this would imply greater than 85% cuts in other sectors; there is limited
confidence about the scope for this.
We therefore recommended that given the need to limit aviation demand growth in
a carbon-constrained world, this should be reflected in your economic analysis of
infrastructure investments. We do not have a view on airport capacity in specific
locations but, given our previous analysis, it would be appropriate to assess whether
investments still make sense if overall demand growth were to be limited to around
60% by 2050 on 2005 levels.
We note that, while you were not able to complete this analysis for your
consultation paper, you have recognised the need to undertake this work for your
final report in summer 2015.
For this assessment you should continue to work on the basis that demand growth is
limited to around 60% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels, as confirmed in the analysis
in your Interim Report.
This could be done in a range of ways, either directly (e.g. by limiting demand in a
balanced manner across available capacity) or indirectly (e.g. through a carbon price
mechanism). In the case of demand being limited indirectly, this should be done in a
way that does not distort the results of the assessment.
I am aware our two Secretariats have been working together to take this forward
and would be very happy to discuss this further with you and the Commission if that
would be helpful.
Chairman, Committee on Climate Change
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Bill Hemmings, of Transport & Environment, writing in Euractiv after the recent UNFCCC talks, says the relevant UN bodies should identify an emission reduction pathway, and ensure that any measures adopted are done so in a fair and equitable way. The UNFCCC negotiating text now includes wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees. There will be more dialogue between parties on why this wording should be included in the Paris Agreement at COP 21. In a “business-as-usual” scenario, CO2 emissions from shipping could increase by up to 250% and from aviation by 270% by 2050. These would account for one-quarter of all allowable emissions under a 2-degree scenario in 2050 and one-third under a 1.5-degree scenario. Despite this reality, the IMO and ICAO have a long record of inaction. ICAO says it will agree by 2016 the details of a measure to deliver carbon neutral growth in 2020, but even that is uncertain and it will depend heavily on the quality of offsets used. However, in any case “carbon neutral growth” by the aviation industry globally will be insufficient to meet a 2-degree scenario.
Paris: Don’t leave out planes and ships
There are a number of possible solutions to reduce emissions in the aviation and shipping sector. But the relevant UN bodies should identify an emission reduction pathway, and ensure that any measures adopted are done so in a fair and equitable way, writes Bill Hemmings.
Bill Hemmings is Aviation and Maritime Manager at Transport & Environment, a green NGO.
The UNFCCC negotiating text took an important step forward last week with the inclusion in the text of wording calling for the setting of emission reduction targets for international shipping and aviation, in the context of the objective of the agreement – which is to limit any temperature increase to 2 degrees.
The coming months represent an opportunity for a dialogue between parties on why this wording should be included in the Paris Agreement at COP 21.
The importance of this development is clear. Shipping and aviation each account for nearly 3% of annual global CO2 emissions. After taking account of non-CO2 indirect aviation impacts, cirrus cloud formation and nitrogen oxides (NOx), these two fast growing sectors almost account for 10% of the global warming problem.
Recent estimates have stated that business-as-usual emissions will increase by up to 250% for shipping and 270% for aviation by 2050. These would account for one-quarter of all allowable emissions under a 2-degree scenario in 2050 and one-third under a 1.5-degree scenario.
Despite this reality, United Nations bodies, IMO [International Maritime Organisation] and ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organisation], have a long record of inaction.
IMO don’t even have discussions of a target on the agenda and have refused since 2011 to advance discussions on a market-based measure. The IMO’s one step – an energy efficiency standard for new ships introduced in 2013 (the so-called EEDI) – will require a generation before it impacts the whole fleet.
ICAO has promised to agree by 2016 the details of a measure to deliver carbon neutral growth in 2020. But progress is slow and the “jury remains out” as the negotiations for agreeing a global deal among ICAO’s 190+ member states are being held by a small group of states in total secrecy.
If agreed, any ICAO measure will depend heavily on the quality of offsets used and in any case carbon neutral growth will be insufficient to meet a 2-degree scenario.
A key concern of parties to the UNFCCC is to ensure that any measures adopted by IMO or ICAO conform to their view of an appropriate application of the principles they hold dear.
The text proposed doesn’t prejudge this – it merely requires each organisation to identify an emission reduction pathway, and leaves it for parties to each organisation to ensure that any measures adopted are done so in a way that is fair and equitable.
Transport & Environment (T&E) is convinced that solutions exist for emission reduction measures for aviation and shipping that can respect and reconcile the principles held by parties to the relevant UN bodies.
Workable proposals to address differentiation and incidence have been advanced for both sectors, including ‘route-based’ differentiation for aviation, and for shipping a financial mechanism that ensures that revenue from any carbon price or levy is allocated in a manner that differentiates between developed and developing countries, in accordance with their capabilities, responsibilities, and circumstances, particularly for SIDS [Small Island Developing States] and LDCs.
As discussions continue, the wording may need to be strengthened and improved. However, its intent is clear – all sectors must play their part and all emissions sources must be covered.
By Bill Hemmings, Transport & Environment
Climate talks end with negotiating text that calls for international aviation carbon reduction targets and a levy
16.2.2015 (GreenAir online)
Negotiators meeting in Geneva last week to agree on the text to take to the all-important international climate summit in Paris later this year have included calls for global emission reduction targets for international aviation and a levy scheme applied to the sector to support climate change adaptation finance.
UNFCCC negotiating texts have proved notoriously fickle in the past and the references to international aviation – and its sister sector, shipping – could still be changed or dropped altogether.
Whereas ICAO is currently developing a global market-based scheme for aviation to achieve a goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, the UN agency has consistently opposed a climate levy be applied as well to the sector. Meanwhile, ICAO is to outline progress so far on the scheme in a series of conferences, called GLADs, to be held in regions across the world during April.
The paragraphs agreed in Geneva referring to international aviation and shipping carbon reduction targets and a levy appear in separate parts of the 86-page document and so are not related.
The text concerning targets (para 23 bis) states: “In meeting the 2 °C objective, Parties agree on the need for global sectoral emission reduction targets for international aviation and maritime transport and on the need for all Parties to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop global policy frameworks to achieve these targets.”
The text is contained within square brackets, often a sign that perhaps not all Parties do in fact agree with the wording and therefore could be subject to change or omission. There is also a lack of clarity as to who should set the targets – UNFCCC or ICAO – or what those targets should be.
How States should effectively deal with international aviation and shipping emissions that by their nature predominantly are cross-border in nature or take place over the high seas has been a conundrum that has so far defeated negotiators at both UNFCCC and ICAO. However, a globally binding climate agreement at the Paris COP in December is seen by many as a prerequisite for achieving a successful outcome for ICAO’s market-based scheme under development.
The concept of a global levy to help with climate change adaptation is not new and following the agreement to set up the Green Climate Fund at the 2010 climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico, the aviation and shipping sectors were identified as potential contributors. With their rapidly growing emissions and their disproportionate impact on climate change, both sectors have been seen as legitimate sources of revenue to the fund that is aiming to deliver up to $100 billion a year to help developing countries adapt to climate change.
A report by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 2011 concluded that a global carbon charge of $25 per tonne of CO2 on international transport could raise $12 billion per year by 2020 from international aviation.
However, the Geneva text refers not to the Green Climate Fund but to the separate Adaptation Fund. The paragraph (47.5) “encourages ICAO and IMO to develop a levy scheme to provide financial support for the Adaptation Fund” and both UN agencies “are encouraged to take into consideration the needs of developing countries, particularly the LDCs [Least Developed Countries], SIDS [Small Island Developing States] and countries in Africa heavily reliant on tourism and international transport of traded goods.”
The Adaptation Fund is a long-established UNFCCC fund set up to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. The fund is partly financed by a share of proceeds from the UN’s clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities.
It is unlikely that the UNFCCC Parties could force ICAO to impose a global levy on international aviation, hence the use of the word “encourage”. It is also hard to find many States that support the measure. Even the European Union, which might be seen to be in favour, has not expressed a formal position.
Since the Green Climate Fund levy first reared its head, ICAO has made clear its opposition. ICAO’s last Assembly in 2012 “urged that ICAO and its Member States express a clear concern, through the UNFCCC process, on the use of international aviation as a potential source for the mobilisation of revenue for climate finance to the other sectors, in order to ensure that international aviation would not be targeted as a source of such revenue in a disproportionate manner.”
ICAO argues that to achieve its aspirational carbon reduction goals the aviation sector requires adequate financial resources of its own that would be compromised by the imposition of an additional levy.
An insider with experience of the UNFCCC process told GreenAir that at this stage the text relating to aviation was not particularly significant. “It will only become so if the paragraphs stay the same heading into Paris,” he said.
Simon McNamara, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association, whose members are unhappy with the administrative and financial burdens of complying with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) on what they consider to be an uneven playing field, said ICAO alone must be allowed to develop a global market-based mechanism.
“Work is already well underway in ICAO and a two-stream approach with influence by a non-aviation body is only likely to complicate the situation for ICAO,” he said. “ICAO should be the sole agency tasked with this effort and all Parties should focus on this.”
ICAO has sent out invitations to its Member States and other organisations to participate in two-day conferences being held in Lima, Nairobi, Cairo, Singapore and Madrid during April. As proposed at the last Assembly, the objectives of the Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) are to share information regarding market-based measures (MBMs) and their role in addressing aviation carbon emissions, and to provide an update on progress on the development at ICAO of a global MBM scheme. The GLADs are also intended as an opportunity for States and organisations to provide their own feedback.
Talks in Geneva target a carbon emissions cap on international aviation and shipping
Work is progressing on text for the climate talks in Paris in December. In Geneva work has started, with representatives from over 190 countries, on negotiating texts on how there could be caps on carbon emissions from international aviation and shipping. The EU has been supportive of this sort of cap, having been the first to have an Emissions Trading System including aviation, till the ETS was scuppered last year. Brussels eventually had to cut the range of the ETS to only include flights within the EU, after trade threats from the USA, China and others. Air travel is one of the fastest growing sources of CO2, and the Paris negotiating text might encourage the global aviation industry to levy funds to be used to help poor countries adapt to climate change. However, any measures to limit aviation CO2 emissions are expected to be opposed by many countries. Including shipping and aviation emissions in a global climate deal has proved difficult in the past. If emissions from these sectors are not addressed effectively by 2050, bunker emissions could swell to account for a quarter of all emissions. ICAO is working on a proposal for some form of market based measure on carbon, due to be considered in 2016. Bill Hemmings, of T&E, said: “ICAO has promised action by 2016 but operates in complete secrecy.”
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A recent report by the Global Subsidies Initiative calls on governments to include commitment to cut fossil fuel subsidies in their pre-Paris climate action plans. It says that phasing out the $543 billion of consumer subsidies handed to fossil fuels globally each year could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 6 – 13% by 2050. Leading governments, such as the UK, need to made good on their long-standing pledges to phase out these subsidies. It says this is a “feasible and cost-effective option for reducing GHG emissions and staying within a 2C target of warming”. The money spent on subsidising fossil fuel would be more effectively used on greater energy efficiency or on renewables. A study by the Overseas Development Institute in November 2014 said the G20 nations had been spending almost $90bn a year on finding more oil, gas and coal. The UK Government has implemented massive subsidies – largely through the tax regime – to promote exploration and development of risky and unconventional oil and gas in recent years, including deep-water offshore resources and shale gas. UK national exploration subsidies in the UK total up to $1.2 billion per year on average. There is also spending overseas for fossil fuel exploration, which totalled $3.3 billion from 2010 to 2013 – an annual average of $825 million.
Aviation industry worldwide, and in UK, is a large user of fossil fuels, and will continue to be so – even while other sectors cut their oil use.
Report: Axing fossil fuel subsidies could cut global emissions 13%
Study calls on governments to include commitment to cut fossil fuel subsidies in their pre-Paris climate action plans
By BusinessGreen staff
13 Feb 2015
Phasing out the $543bn of consumer subsidies handed to fossil fuels each year could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by between six and 13 per cent by 2050, according to a major new report presented to delegates at the UN’s latest climate meeting in Geneva this week.
The report from the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) applies a new model for predicting how emissions could be reduced if leading governments made good on their long-standing pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
The study notes that almost 30 countries, including Egypt, Indonesia and India, delivered some form of fossil-fuel subsidy reform last year, while the currently low oil price has fuelled speculation that more nations may follow suit.
It concludes that fossil fuel subsidy reform is “one feasible and cost-effective option for reducing GHG emissions and staying within a 2C target of warming”.
“Subsidies can take up a significant portion of government spending (e.g. between 5 and 30 per cent of government expenditure in a range of Southeast Asian countries) and therefore savings from such reforms can be significant,” the group said. “The GSI Integrated Fiscal model also looks at scenarios for the reallocation of savings – 20 per cent into energy efficiency and 10 per cent in renewable energy – and finds that this enables emissions from subsidy reform for particular countries to remain at a reduced level for the long-term, despite growth in GDP and population.”
The report calls on governments to include commitments to reform subsidies in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which will be submitted ahead of this year’s Paris Summit and will provide details on how countries plan to respond to climate change.
The study also noted that the emission reductions it expects to see from a full phasing out of subsidies is likely to be an underestimate, as the model does not include subsidies to producers due to lack of data.
The report came on the same day as Unilever boss Paul Polman called on world leaders to seize the opportunity presented by the crash in the oil price to cut fossil fuel subsidies.
Writing in the Guardian, Polman said world leaders needed to make it clear that they “choose an inclusive and sustainable economy over the ageing, carbon-intensive dirty economic model based on burning fossil fuels”.
He added that as such they should take advantage of low oil prices and low interest rates to stop funnelling around $600bn a year into fossil fuel subsidies. “Not only would this benefit the climate, but begin to address issues of rising social inequality,” he wrote. “This is just one example of the climate action agenda and the development agenda are so mutually reinforcing.”
Fossil fuel promises are being broken, report says
11 November 2014 (BBC)
By Roger Harrabin (BBC environment analyst)
The report by the Overseas Development Institute said G20 nations had been spending almost $90bn a year on finding more oil, gas and coal
World governments have been breaking promises to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, a report says.
The Overseas Development Institute says G20 nations spent almost £56bn ($90bn) a year finding oil, gas and coal.
It comes despite evidence that two thirds of existing reserves must be left in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
A government spokesman said the North Sea oil and gas industry “creates jobs and generates investment” in the UK.
The spokesman said the tax regime for oil and gas includes a number of allowances which reduce the tax burden on specific, challenging gas or oil fields.
Allowances did not constitute a subsidy, he added.
The UK government has previously said it was helping firms find fossil fuels within the UK to increase energy security, attract royalties and help with the balance of payments.
However, the report said subsidies were irrational, a waste of public money and harmful to the environment.
With rising costs for hard-to-reach fossil fuel reserves – together with falling coal and oil prices – renewable energy was a better way to invest taxpayers’ funds, it added.
The report’s authors said the UK had introduced national subsidies for exploration valued at up to £757 million a year.
Those included tax breaks for North Sea exploration worth £528 million to Total (HQ France), £256 million to Statoil (Norway), £144 million to Centrica (UK) and £45 million to Chevron (USA) between 2009 and 2014.
The report also traced G20 governments’ funding of fossil fuel exploration overseas.
The UK has been spending £418 million annually in public finance for exploration in Siberia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Guinea and Ghana, it said. The funding was through export finance guarantees.
The USA has been spending £883 million annually in public finance for overseas exploration in Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia, the report added.
A glacier in Canada
The report said subsidies were a waste of public money and harmful to the environment
Governments have supported fossil fuel companies to find new reserves because they produce revenue which increases the tax take and produces royalties in the future.
The ODI said that given the low market price of fossil fuels at the moment, the decision looked like a poor investment of public money.
“The government may argue that if it funds exploration now, it will be paid back later,” ODI director Kevin Watkins told the BBC.
“Our argument is that in today’s conditions, there is still likely to be a net loss – even when royalties and future tax revenues are taken into account – and that doesn’t even take the climate change impact into account.”
Ministers were also driven to secure as much fossil fuel energy as possible within their own borders in order to maximise security of supplies and minimise imports.
The ODI said there was a tension between the objectives of energy security and climate protection.
However, the report said renewables were a better bet. It claimed every US dollar spent on renewable energy subsidies attracted $2.5 (£1.50) in investment, while a dollar in fossil fuel subsidies drew $1.3 (82p) of investment.
The authors said the USA provided £3.2 billion in national subsidies for fossil fuel exploration in 2013 – almost double the level of 2009, while Australia was providing £2.2 billion a year and Russia £1.5 billion a year.
China and Brazil have been subsidising exploration in foreign territory too, it said.
An off shore wind farm
The report said money spent on renewable energy subsidies attracted better investment than fossil fuel subsidies
The report also highlighted £328 million by the G20 for exploration channelled through multilateral development banks.
It said phasing out exploration subsidies should be the first step for the G20 towards meeting its existing commitments to phase out all inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
The report was developed in collaboration with the pressure group Oil Change International, whose director, Stephen Kretzmann, called on governments to end exploration subsidies.
“Five years ago, G20 governments pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and take action to limit climate change. Immediately ending exploration subsidies is the clearest next step on both fronts,” he said.
The section on fossil fuel subsidies in the UK says:
Coal production in the UK has declined significantly in recent
decades and has almost halved since 2000 (U.S. EIA, 2014c).
Although conventional oil and gas reserves are also declining
and public and private oil and gas exploration expenditure
is variable, the UK Government has implemented massive
subsidies to promote exploration and development of risky
and unconventional oil and gas in recent years, including
deep-water offshore resources and shale gas.
The expansion of deep-water offshore oil and
gas drilling in the North Sea is a priority for the UK
Government, with a newly-created regulator, the Oil and
Gas Authority, tasked with supporting the extraction of
three to four billion barrels of oil and gas from the North
Sea over the next 20 years.
Subsidies are central to this plan, and in July 2014 the Government began consultations ‘on how the country’s tax regime can continue to attract
investment in the North Sea’ (Argus Media, 2014).
The UK stands out as a major industrialised economy
that, despite the G20 pledge, has expanded the scope of its
oil and gas exploration subsidies dramatically, in particular
for shale gas and offshore resources. National exploration
subsidies in the UK total up to $1.2 billion per year on
average, largely as a result of tax exemptions for oil and
gas activities in certain types of fields, including deep water
and shale gas (Blyth, 2013).
Public finance for fossil fuel exploration from the UK
is mostly targeted overseas, and totalled $3.3 billion
from 2010 to 2013 – an annual average of $825 million.
This financing comes from the Royal Bank of Scotland,
which is 80% government-owned and provided $2.0
billion for oil and gas projects over the period (IJ Global,
2014). UK Export Finance (UKEF) provided two loans to
Brazil’s national oil company in 2012 and 2013 and two
guarantees for coal mining projects in Siberia in 2011 and
2012 (UKEF, 2013; UKEF, 2012).
The UK Government also provides fossil fuel support through the CDC Group, (Commonwealth Development Corporation)
its development finance institution, but data on the share
of CDC financing for these funds are not available. The
UK also contributed an annual average of $53.7 million
to fossil fuel exploration projects from 2010 to 2013
through its shares in the World Bank Group, the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European
Investment Bank and the Asian Development Bank which
range from 2.1% to 16.1% depending on the institution.
Foreign companies play a dominant role in UK oil and
gas exploration. Maersk Oil, a Danish company, spends by
far the most of any company on exploration in the country.
In 2013, two independent American oil and gas companies,
Noble Energy and Apache, rose to the forefront with the
third and fourth largest exploration expenditures that
year, behind Shell. Because they are investing the most in
exploration, these companies are likely to be benefitting the
most from exploration subsidies (Rystad Energy, 2014).
BP and Shell are particularly active in exploration
and production in the North Sea, and made strong
public comments supporting the UK’s favourable tax
regime for deep-water offshore drilling there in light of
the referendum vote for Scottish independence. Both
companies expressed concerns that an independent
Scotland would raise taxes on North Sea oil and gas
operations, with Shell CEO Ben van Beurden highlighting
the industry’s reliance on subsidies by stating that without
the current tax breaks from the UK Government, North
Sea production could become unprofitable (Eaton, 2014).
Despite Government support, fewer companies have
invested in UK fracking, although more players are
beginning to enter the field. As of March 2013, Cuadrilla
Resources was the only major actor in the UK’s shale-gas
industry (Bowsher, 2014). At the beginning of 2014, Total
bought 40% stakes in two shale-gas exploration licenses in
partnership with several smaller companies (Griffiths, 2013).
… and a section on coal ….
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