Gatwick says Birmingham backs its runway – they definitely don’t want the competition of an expanded Heathrow

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.”

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See also

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.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/report-by-oxera-for-birmingham-airport-criticises-commissions-analysis-on-impacts-of-heathrow-runway-on-regional-airports/

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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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Strong “No New Runways” bloc gets its message across at the London Time To Act Climate March

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.
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CAGNE protesters from Gatwick.(with Stewart Wingate masks).

Embedded image permalink One of the aviation banners.

rsz_climate_march_heathrow_and_gatwick_protesters Heathrow campaigners and Gatwick campaigners united  against either new runway

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The “No New Runways” banner outside the gates of Downing Street.

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The banners, and the marchers, arrive at Parliament.

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People’s Climate March In London Draws 5,000, Including Russell Brand And Naomi Klein

By Paul Vale

7/03/2015 (Huffington Post)

climate change

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.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/03/07/thousands-gather-in-london-for-climate-change-march-led-by-russell-brand-and-naomi-klein_n_6822680.html

View image on Twitter


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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).

 

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment.cfm/join-the-time-to-act-on-climate-march

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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.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/07/time-to-act-climate-change-protest-london

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Germany fines aircraft operators €5.36 million as it publishes first Aviation EU ETS non-compliance list

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.
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Germany fines aircraft operators $5.9 million as it publishes first Aviation EU ETS non-compliance list

From GreenAir online

5.3.2015

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.

Link:
DEHSt – List of EU ETS non-compliant operators for 2012

Related GreenAir Online articles:

 


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See also

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.”

Click here to view full story…

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Committee on Climate Change writes to Sir Howard to say aviation CO2 emissions must not be over 2005 level by 2050

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.”
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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..

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/02/19/climate-change-committee-is-airport-expansion-viable-when-emissions-are-capped/

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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

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The letter says:

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Sir Howard Davies
Airports Commission
Sanctuary Buildings
20 Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3BT

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3rd February 2015

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Dear Howard,

I am writing to you in response to your consultation on increasing the UK’s long-term
aviation capacity.

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.

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Yours sincerely,

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Lord Deben
Chairman, Committee on Climate Change

 

 

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UN climate negotiations need to get agreed emissions targets for international aviation and shipping

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. 
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Paris: Don’t leave out planes and ships

18.2.2015 (Euractiv)

By Bill Hemmings. [Transport & Environment]

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

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/sustainable-dev/paris-dont-leave-out-planes-and-ships-312223

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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.

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=2046

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Earlier:

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.”

Click here to view full story…

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Global Subsidies Initiative report calls on governments to include commitment to cut fossil fuel subsidies, for climate

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.
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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.”

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2395177/report-axing-fossil-fuel-subsidies-could-cut-global-emissions-13-per-cent 


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Fossil fuel promises are being broken, report says

11 November 2014 (BBC)

By Roger Harrabin (BBC environment analyst)

The Report: “The Fossil Fuel Bailout”  Nov 2014

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.

Fuel exploration
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.”

Existing commitments
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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29985382

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“The fossil fuel Bailout”

The section on fossil fuel subsidies in the UK says:

United Kingdom

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 ….

http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9234.pdf

 

Read more »

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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Talks target emissions cap on airline and shipping industries

Pilita Clark in Geneva

12.2.2015 (Financial Times)

A move to cap emissions from airline and shipping companies has emerged in talks on the global climate change agreement to be signed in Paris at the end of this year.

The idea of imposing carbon pollution targets on each industry has appeared in the lengthy negotiating text that representatives from more than 190 countries began working on in Geneva this week.

………..
Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping programme manager at the Brussels-based Transport & Environment research organisation, said that with aviation and shipping each accounting for about 3% of global C02 emissions, and with air travel in particular growing fast, it was time both sectors faced targets to limit their pollution.

Bill commented: “How can we have large countries like China and the US, and developing countries making commitments to cut their emissions while these two sit on their hands? …The issue is not even on the agenda of the IMO, the UN’s shipping body. ICAO has promised action by 2016 but operates in complete secrecy. Both sectors are exempt from fuel tax so a levy on emissions to help countries adapt to climate change makes great sense.”

……. full FT article at

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/11d5e37c-b2c0-11e4-b234-00144feab7de.html#ixzz3RYZXd5O

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Where are the bunkers on the road to Paris?

In the final years of negotiations for the new climate agreement, it’s still not clear if it will include the fastest growing emissions sources — international aviation and shipping, also known as bunker fuels.

CO2 emissions from international shipping and aviation were about 950 megatonnes (MT) and 705MT respectively in 2012; combined they account for as much emissions as Germany, the sixth largest emitting country.

When indirect effects are taken into account, the impact could already be approaching 10% of global climate forcing. In the almost two decades since the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) started discussing greenhouse gases, little concrete action has materialised and, scarily, these emissions are on course to double or even treble by 2030.

If emissions from these sectors are not addressed effectively by 2050, bunker emissions could swell to account for a quarter of all emissions.

Such high emissions from the international transport sector would make it all but impossible to limit aggregate global warming to less than 2ºC as it would place an impossible emission reduction burden on other sectors.

IMO and ICAO discussions have seen limited progress.

Carbon neutral growth from 2020 is the most ambitious goal that the aviation sector has proposed, allowing emissions to grow to 2020 and then offsetting growth beyond that. This is far short of what is required for a 2ºC pathway, and there is little assurance that even these goals would be implemented.

International shipping emissions are predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050. The IMO suspended consideration of market-based measures in 2011, and the question of setting a global cap on shipping emissions is not on the IMO agenda. Efficiency regulations agreed for new ships will likely not have a significant impact for several decades, and the shipping industry is now fighting any new measures.

At COP 21, the UNFCCC should mandate the setting of robust and meaningful reduction targets, as well as the adoption of mitigation measures that will ensure these sectors begin to play a fair and equal role in addressing dangerous climate change. Eco welcomes the introduction of text in the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) yesterday which demands the setting of targets for emissions from these sectors consistent with staying below 2ºC.

http://www.transportenvironment.org/newsroom/blog/where-are-bunkers-road-paris

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See also

UN climate negotiations need to get agreed emissions targets for international aviation and shipping

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.

Click here to view full story…

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Background: UNFCCC

Geneva is hosting a conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from February 8-13, 2015. The UNFCCC, a UN secretariat based in Bonn, Germany, has 196 parties – including virtually all of the world’s nations – and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol for cutting industrial heat-trapping gases that warm the atmosphere like a greenhouse.

The Geneva conference is meant to be a negotiating session to prepare for the climate summit in Paris in December. The summit is meant to keep the planet from overheating by stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that will limit further human-induced climate change. The aim of the six-day conference in the Swiss city is to prepare a streamlined negotiating text for the summit. One highlight will be talks about something called “intended nationally determined contributions”, which are publicly announced commitments that are meant to put the planet on a path towards a low-carbon future. Under the UNFCCC, virtually all the world’s nations would commit to a new climate agreement in Paris based on these contributions.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/behind-the-scenes-at-the-geneva-climate-talks/41268370?rss=true

 

 

 

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Gaping holes in Airports Commission’s analysis of airport expansion conceal potential environmental disaster

The Aviation Environment Federation, in their response to the Airports Commission consultation, says there are gaping holes in the Airports Commission’s analysis of airport expansion. These conceal a potential environmental disaster. AEF says the Commission ran out of time to complete key pieces of research on greenhouse gas emissions and on air quality. AEF is calling on political parties not to accept the Commission’s recommendations until all relevant evidence has been gathered and made available for public scrutiny. The gaps in the Commission’s analysis include not completing local air quality modelling in time for the consultation, despite the Commission’s assessment objective being “to improve air quality in line with EU air quality laws”. Also not following the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation that the economic impact assessment of expansion must include the costs associated with meeting UK aviation emissions targets (which a new runway would probably breach); and  not providing any analysis of how noise impacts would vary if different assumptions were made about the location of flight paths. 
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The AEF press release is here

Green lobby group slams airport expansion plans

By Phil Davies
3 February 2015 

 

Gaping holes in the Airports Commission’s analysis of airport expansion conceal a potential environmental disaster, a green group claims today.

The Aviation Environment Federation suggests on the closing day of the commission’s final public consultation that a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would be an “environmental disaster”.

It claims that the commission ran out of time to complete key pieces of research on greenhouse gas emissions and on air quality.

The AEF is calling on political parties not to accept the commission’s recommendations until all relevant evidence has been gathered and made available for public scrutiny.

In its response to the consultation, AEF criticised the commission for leaving “major gaps” in its evidence, notably:

  • Failure to complete local air quality modelling in time for the consultation, despite the Commission’s assessment objective being “to improve air quality in line with EU air quality laws”
  • Failure to follow the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation that the economic impact assessment of expansion must include the costs associated with meeting emissions targets, and
  • Failure to provide any analysis of how noise impacts would vary if different assumptions were made about the location of flight paths, especially as these have been labelled ‘indicative and not representative’.

Deputy director Cait Hewitt said: “A new runway at any of the shortlisted sites would be an environmental disaster, the commission’s evidence suggests. But without a proper environmental analysis having been completed, the next government will struggle to get an accurate picture of the full costs and benefits of expansion.

“We are very disappointed that despite the thousands of pages of analysis the commission has published on its short-listed proposals, the environmental analysis it committed to undertaking has not been finished in time. By its own admission, the commission has not completed a detailed enough assessment of the impacts of a new runway either on air quality or on the cost of meeting national carbon commitments.

“The environmental assessment presented so far is a patchwork of often damning, though incomplete, evidence about the impact of expansion, which could take place in areas described by the Commission as already suffering from ‘environmental stress’.

“Several new pieces of evidence have appeared during the consultation, meanwhile, sometimes within weeks of the deadline, leaving little time for the public to respond, while gaping holes in the analysis suggest that the overall environmental impact may have been significantly underestimated.”

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2015/02/03/53042/green-lobby-group-slams-airport-expansion-plans.html#disqus_thread

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The AEF press release is here

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Three new briefings ask “Can the UK build a new runway, and stay within the aviation carbon cap?”

The Airports Commission gives the impression that the issue of carbon emissions has been fully considered, and that a new runway can be accommodated within UK carbon targets. However, that is far from the truth.  It is by no means clear that the UK aviation could stay within the 37.5 MtCO2 cap that is needed, in order for the UK as a whole to meet its legal climate obligations. Indeed, the Airports Commission itself is aware of this problem, and its own figures show the carbon emissions from UK aviation far exceeding the cap, over many years. For the clearest view of this, see the Commission’s interim report, Technical Appendix, December 2013, Pages 71 & 72. Though there will be carbon efficiencies in coming decades, in CO2 per passenger kilometre, the scale of those improvements is unknown and many are just hypothetical. The widely accepted assumption has been that the matter is just which airport gets a runway – rather than whether a runway could be built at all. The carbon situation makes it clear that the debate is still very much “IF” a runway should be built, and not merely “WHERE?”  Three new briefings help set out the facts, and show that building a new runway would mean UK aviation exceeds its carbon cap.
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1.  AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) 

“The carbon gap in the Airports Commission’s new runway analysis”

 
AEF has 3 major concerns about the Commission’s approach to analysing the climate change implications of airport expansion. These are set out, with their  recommendations on what the Airports Commission needs to do before publishing its final report.
AEF is urging everybody responding to the Airports Commission’s consultation, to include these 3 recommendations in their response.


2. Short briefing from AirportWatch

“Airports Commission’s Recommendations Inconsistent with Climate Target”

The briefing shows how the Airports Commission’s recommendations would not be consistent with the CO2 target for UK aviation, unless there is major change in aviation policy. The Commission will do further work on theoretical increases in the price of carbon, to attempt to keep aviation emissions at 37.5 MtCO2. However, if this is done, the net economic benefit of a runway would become negative, fatally undermining the Commission’s runway recommendation


3. Longer briefing from AirportWatch

“Aviation carbon emissions, a new runway and the Airports Commission”

The briefing looks at the actual carbon figures, of current and forecast carbon emissions by the UK aviation industry, and anticipated carbon efficiencies in future decades. It assesses whether these can be kept below the 37.5 MtCO2 cap, without a new runway – and with one. The briefing takes the form of questions and answers, so dividing the issue into sections, for clarity.  The data shows that building new runway in the South East is very likely to be incompatible with the UK’s carbon targets, and sets out why.


Can the UK build a new runway, and stay within the aviation carbon cap?

28.1.2015 (AirportWatch)

The Airports Commission gives the impression that the issue of carbon emissions has been fully considered, and that a new runway can be accommodated within UK carbon targets.

However, that is not the case. It is by no means clear that the UK aviation could stay within the 37.5 MtCO2 that is needed, in order for the UK as a whole to meet its legal climate obligations.

Indeed, the Airports Commission itself is aware of this problem, and its own figures show the carbon emissions from UK aviation far exceeding the cap, over many years. For the clearest view of this, see the Commission’s interim report, Technical Appendix, December 2013, Pages 71  and 72

Of course, there will be improvements in efficiency, and reductions in carbon emissions per passenger kilometre. The scale of those improvements is unknown. Carbon efficiencies are postulated from future generations of aircraft that are not yet on the drawing board, let alone nearing production. Biofuels that are, frankly, unlikely to be commercially viable are anticipated. Carbon trading systems of which there is no prospect at present are presumed.

The widely accepted assumption has been that the matter is merely of which airport gets a runway – rather than whether a runway could be built at all. The carbon situation makes it clear that the debate is still very much “IF” a runway should be built, and not merely “WHERE?”

The Airports Commission has not yet set out with meaningful detail what future policies would be needed, in order to limit emissions to the aviation cap – while adding new runway capacity.

If UK aviation cannot keep within its carbon cap, it is likely that the growth of regional airports would need to be constrained – or alternatively the new runway could only be partly used. Neither would be popular, or easy to achieve.

If UK aviation exceeds its carbon cap, it would be necessary for other sectors of the economy to make even steeper cuts in emissions (they are already having to make reductions in carbon emissions of 85% on their 1990 level, by 2050, in order to allow the aviation sector to effectively double its emissions over the same period).

In a nutshell, the carbon emissions from UK aviation are likely to exceed the 37.5 MtCO2 cap by 2050, even without a new runway.

With a new runway, the emissions from UK aviation will exceed it by even more.

The simplest and cheapest (as well as most effective) way to prevent UK aviation from exceeding its carbon limit is not to build another runway.


 

As one AirportWatch member put it:

The thinking seems to have gone like this:

1) our political masters want airport expansion
2) the same people are committed to capping and cutting carbon emissions
3) we know that we cannot expand airports without breaking the carbon commitments
therefore we are going to ignore the carbon emissions and carry on with the process of deciding where to expand airports because we realise there is more money/political power in that than in actually delivering on the empty promises of politicians on climate change, and the problems we push down the line are someone else’s.
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Responding to the Airports Commission consultation:

People may find some of this information useful, in writing responses to the Airports Commission consultation (ends 3rd February).   The  Commission has asked for information on what they have got wrong, and what they have missed out.  The carbon issues fit into both those categories.

Responses can be made by email to  airports.consultation@systra.com  and full details on how to send in a response are at the end of the Consultation document. 

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Aviation Environment Federation sets out 3 main gaps in the Airports Commission’s assessment of CO2 from UK aviation with a new runway

In the rush to build a new runway in the south east, the vital issue of whether or not a new runway would be compatible with national climate change commitments has been largely overlooked.  The Airports Commission gives the impression that the issue has been fully considered. In fact, it has not. The AEF has set out 3 simple points on which the Commission needs to answer questions – and which people writing responses to the consultation should include. These relate to the accuracy of CO2 forecasts; the lack of any policies to build a runway and still keep UK aviation CO2 down to the required level; and the lack of any assessment of how much less of an economic benefit a runway might be, if the carbon was properly factored into the calculations. AEF suggests raising these. On forecasts, the Commission should “Explain why its CO2 emissions forecasts are lower than the Government’s latest forecasts, what assumptions are made and how sensitive to the results are to them.” On policy it should:  “Set out in meaningful detail what policy developments would be required in order to limit emissions to the aviation cap while building new capacity.” And on cost-benefit it should “Fully include the economy-wide cost of keeping national aviation emissions to within 37.5 Mt in its cost benefit analyses.” 
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The carbon gap in the Airports Commission’s new runway analysis

A key issue in the airport expansion debate is whether or not a new runway would be compatible with national climate change commitments. The Airports Commission gives the impression that the issue has been fully considered, but in fact a number of questions remain to be answered.

We have three major concerns about the Commission’s approach to analysing the climate change implications of airport expansion. Below each issue we have given our recommendations of what the Airports Commission needs to do before publishing its final report. We would urge everybody responding to the Airports Commission’s consultation, which closes on the 3rd February, to include our three recommendations in their response to questions 4, 5 or 6.

Issue one: Forecasts

The Airports Commission has produced its own forecasts of carbon dioxide emissions from aviation that are lower than official forecasts from the Department for Transport.

No explanation has been provided for the discrepancy, which applies both to national level forecasts of aviation and to the anticipated (no new runway) ‘baseline’ emissions for Heathrow and Gatwick. As a result, we are concerned about the reliability of the Commission’s forecasts of emissions from a new runway.

What the Airports Commission should do: Explain why its CO2 emissions forecasts are lower than the Government’s latest forecasts, what assumptions are made and how sensitive to the results are to them

Issue two: policies to reduce emissions

Even with lower emissions forecasts, the Airports Commission’s own work has shown that building a new runway would be inconsistent with UK climate change commitments unless new, unspecified action was taken by Government to cap aviation emissions.

The sustainability assessment for each short-listed scheme predicts that national aviation emissions would be higher than the level consistent with the Climate Change Act if the runway scheme proceeds, even if aviation is included in a carbon trading scheme.

The Commission has claimed that working out what additional policy action would be needed to limit emissions (new taxes or planning restrictions on other airports, for example) is outside its remit, as is, indeed, assessing the likelihood that even carbon trading policies will be successfully extended to cover aviation.

What the Airports Commission should do: Set out in meaningful detail what policy developments would be required in order to limit emissions to the aviation cap while building new capacity

Issue three: Economic analysis

The economic analysis of the shortlisted expansion options does not include the economic costs of restraining greenhouse gas emissions from UK aviation to a level compatible with the Climate Change Act.

The Committee on Climate Change, the Government’s official climate advisers, told the Airports Commission in an open letter in 2013:

Given the need to limit aviation demand growth in a carbon constrained world, we recommend that this should be reflected in your economic analysis of alternative investments. For example, for each investment, you should assess whether this would make sense if demand growth were to be limited to 60% by 2050.

The Commission has not completed this analysis, citing technical difficulties and the fact that the carbon component (costs associated with restraining emissions) “would dominate the capacity appraisals”. The Airports Commission’s estimates of the economic benefits that would arise from each its shortlisted schemes are therefore misleadingly high. The admittance by the Airports Commission that it has not included the ‘carbon costs’ in its economic analysis is in an paragraph on page 25 of the consultation document.

What the Airports Commission should do: Fully include the economy-wide cost of keeping national aviation emissions to within 37.5 Mt in its cost benefit analyses, in line with the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change. This analysis should be presented prominently in the final report.


Background information from AEF on the importance of climate change in the airport expansion debate is available to download here.

 

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/01/20/carbon-gap-airports-commissions-new-runway/

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How to respond to the Airports Commission consultation

Responding to the Airports Commission final consultation on a possible new runway

As well as the main consultation document, there are over 55 technical documents, with supporting detail.
It is therefore almost impossible for most people to read all these. In order to help people to make a response, without needing to set aside a week or so of their lives to do so, both HACAN at Heathrow, and GACC at Gatwick, have given guidance on how a simple consultation response can be written.

Responses don‘t have to be long, or technical. Just write your views.

1. First, here are links to the main documents:
The main consultation
document  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381912/AC01_tagged_amend_25_11.pdf

The main consultation documents(the consultation document itself, documents on two Heathrow and on Gatwick runway options) https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/increasing-the-uks-long-termaviation-capacity
The large number of technical supporting documents https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/additional-airport-capacity-consultationsupporting-documents
2. Second, how to actually send in a response:

Responses should be e-mailed to: airports.consultation@systra.com
or by the online form at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/134578HXHDU

you should get an acknowledgement

Responses can also be submitted by post to:

Airports Commission Consultation
Freepost RTKX-USUC-CXAS
PO Box 1492WokingGU22 2QR

you will not get an acknowledgement
Copy in your elected (and even prospective parliamentary candidates) so they are aware of your views.
The findings of the Commission‘s consultation will be published in a consultation report. This report will include details of the number of responses received and the key topics, points and themes that the consultation generated. The report will alsocontain details of the framework used to analyse the responses.

The Commission will also publish all substantive, technical responses it has received. All these will be published alongside the publication of the Commission‘s final report, due in the summer of 2015.

3. Third, documents from HACAN and from GACC to help with responses:

Heathrow

Heathrow:Airports Commission consultation explained
http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Airports-Commission-Consultation-BriefingExplained.pdf

Heathrow:Consultation Special – guidance on how to respond to the consultation
http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Consultation_Special_by_HACAN_Jan_2015.pdf

10 reasons to oppose a 3rd runway: http://hacan.org.uk/10-reasons-to-oppose-a-3rd-runway/

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Gatwick

Gatwick: The Runway Facts
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/RUNWAY-FACTS-Gatwick-Unwrapped.pdf
Gatwick Unwrapped -A critical examination of the plansfor a 2nd runway at Gatwick
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Gatwick-Unwrapped-Jan-2015.pdf

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