EU agrees aviation emissions targets

22.10.2009   (European voice)

by Jennifer Rankin

Ministers set targets for two industries left out of Kyoto Protocol, aviation
and shipping.

Europe will pursue global targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions from aviation
by 10% by 2020 and 20% for shipping from 2005 levels, at international talks on
climate change, environment ministers agreed today.

Shipping and aviation were left out of the Kyoto Protocol, but are expected to
be part of a new global deal on climate change to be worked out in Copenhagen
in December.

Denmark’s environment minister, Connie Hedegaard, hailed the decision as a strong
signal that the EU wants shipping and aviation to be part of an international
agreement.   She added that a global levy on shipping and airline fuel could raise
€7-€12 billion per year and be an important source of money to help developing
countries adapt to climate change.

Campaigners welcomed the decision, but said that the targets were too low.

"We welcome the first proposals for global targets to reduce carbon emissions
within the aviation and shipping sectors," Bill Hemmings of Transport and Environment,
a campaign group.

"But we question why aviation and shipping are still being given special treatment,"
he said, pointing out that other sectors of the economy have to measure their
emissions against a tougher 1990 benchmark.


see also

Guardian     20.10.2009

EU ministers set to agree cut in aviation emissions

by Alok Jha and Ian Traynor

European environment ministers are set to agree a cut in the carbon emissions from flying, the Guardian has learned.

In Brussels tomorrow representatives of the 27 states of the European Union are expected to agree on a 10% cut for aviation by 2020, relative to 2005, as
part of its negotiating position at the upcoming UN summit on
climate change in Copenhagen.

Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, but politicians have
been reluctant to act, as the number of passengers and flights is rising sharply.  
But earlier this year Ed Miliband, energy and climate change secretary, said that
the UK would return emissions to 2005 levels by 2050.     “I don’t want to have a situation where only rich people can afford to fly,”
he said.

Quentin Browell, of the International Air Transport Association, questioned whether the 10% cut was achievable.   “We’re looking
at 1.5% improvement in fuel efficiency each year, the vast majority from new planes
joining the fleet.   The 10% does not look realistic.”

[Calculating -1.5% for 10 years gives a reduction of 14%.   Therefore it is not
unrealistic. AirportWatch].

On another issue, EU finance ministers failed to agree on the funding it will
give the developing world to cope with global warming, a setback for the deal
negotiators hope to deliver in Copenhagen.

A call from the chancellor, Alistair Darling, for the EU to commit to €10bn,
of which Britain would contribute €1bn, went unheeded. The European Commission
has proposed €15bn a year by 2020. The European parliament’s environment committee
this week put the figure at €30bn, but environmental lobby groups talk of €35bn.

“It’s a disappointing outcome,” admitted Anders Borg, the Swedish finance minister,
who chaired the meeting. “There’s obviously been a lack of commitment.”

With fewer than 50 days to the Copenhagen summit, differences between states
over how to split the bill wrecked preparation of such a deal at its last attempt,
before an EU summit in Brussels next week.

The argument is between richer west Europeans and the poorer, newer member states
from central and eastern Europe who are seeking to minimise their share of the
overall bill. Eliot Whittington, at Christian Aid, said: “There is only one week
of formal negotiations left before Copenhagen. Brinksmanship of this nature is
a betrayal of millions of poor people.”