Big airline polluters likely to increase their CO2 emissions post-Covid, unless this is better regulated
The carbon emissions of EU airlines grew in 2019. There will be a steep fall in their emissions for an unknown amount of time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But air passenger numbers repeatedly broke records in the aftermath of global shocks such as the 2008 financial crisis, the September 11 attacks, the Gulf War and the SARS outbreak. This will happen again this time, unless aviation carbon is taxed and regulated. Governments must break that cycle of crisis+growth by sticking with the European Green Deal commitment to rein in emissions growth. In Europe political momentum has been gathering to end both airlines’ tax exemption and the free pollution permits they receive in the EU’s ETS. The EU would like airlines to use lower carbon fuels, if these can be located (they are scarce and expensive). The EU is moving to curb airline emissions due to serious doubts over the UN’s controversial/ineffective CORSIA scheme, which will allow airlines to continue increasing their CO2 emissions by buying ultra-cheap offsets instead of reducing their own CO2.
Big airline polluters grew emissions in 2019 ahead of expected COVID drop
Brussels, 1 April 2020
Link to PR: https://transenv.eu/2w49Ivi
From Transport & Environment (T&E)
Fourteen of the 20 biggest polluting airlines grew their CO2 emissions within Europe in 2019 – according to official EU figures released today – ahead of an expected fall this year. In the past the 20 airlines’ emissions accounted for almost three-quarters of all airline CO2 within Europe.
Transport & Environment (T&E) said aviation pollution is likely to grow again once COVID restrictions are lifted unless the sector is required to take up green technology and pay taxes on its fuel.
The 14 carriers released an extra 1.6 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 last year. The European Commission will publish the airline sector’s total emissions later this month.
|In Europe political momentum has been gathering to end both airlines’ tax exemption and the free pollution permits they receive in the bloc’s emissions trading system. The European Commission last week said it was exploring requiring airlines to start using cleaner fuels such as synthetic e-fuels.|
Europe is moving to curb airline emissions due to serious doubts over a controversial UN offsetting scheme for aviation. Known as Corsia, the scheme will allow airlines to continue growing their emissions by buying ultra-cheap offsets – where they invest in environmental projects, such as a hydrodam project which later collapsed, instead of reducing their own carbon footprint.
Notes to editors:
 The 20 airlines were the biggest emitting carriers in 2018. In 2019, five of these airlines – Alitalia, TUI Airways, British Airways, Eurowings, and Norwegian Airlines – decreased their emissions. One carrier, SAS, did not report its pollution.
 Boeing analysis of passenger numbers from UN aviation agency ICAO and airlines’ trade association IATA.
Boeing, Commercial Market Outlook 2019–2038, page 19:
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