Don’t Reduce Emissions
Farnborough, UK - The International Air
Transport Association (IATA) called on governments to abandon punitive
environment taxes and instead support global environment solutions that
will actually reduce aviation’s 2% of global carbon emissions.
reduce emissions. Only better operations and technology can do that,” said
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, addressing the
Farnborough International 2008 Sustainable Aviation Briefing.
airline industry is in crisis. With a fuel bill of US$190 billion – one
third of its costs - saving fuel is a matter of survival. Still Europe is
fixated on punitive measures supposedly designed to reduce emissions.
There is a rush to implement taxes, taxes and more taxes. They all have an
environment label, but do nothing to reduce emissions,” said Bisignani. He
took aim at two punitive measures in particular:
UK Air Passenger Duty (APD): “By 2010 APD
could be a GBP3.5 billion pot of honey for the UK Treasury. That’s
enough to offset four years of the UK’s civil aviation emissions. The UK
proposal will lead to market distortions. And governments - including
the UK - are double counting. On top of APD, other countries such as the
Netherlands also apply taxes. If this weren’t enough, the European Union
emissions trading proposal will add another layer of penalties. What
will all this do for the environment? Precious little. It’s time for
some political honesty about where the billions are going and what they
will achieve,” said Bisignani.
European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
(ETS): “We support emissions trading, but Europe’s unilateral
approach is wrong. Instead of cleaning up the environment, this will
create an international legal mess. States outside Europe are already
threatening legal action. Why should a US carrier have to pay Europe for
emissions over US territory? Going global is the only way to
success. The drafters of the Kyoto Protocol understood this and
tasked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to deal with
aviation and the environment. But this wisdom did not make it to the
European Parliament. Even as France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the EU
signed a G8 declaration reconfirming ICAO’s role in delivering a global
solution, the European Parliament moved in the opposite direction by
voting for a regional ETS. Good sense has been hijacked by uncoordinated
green policies,” said Bisignani.
“States - including Europe - will make or break the ICAO
process. ICAO strengthened its political leadership on the issue with a
high level Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC).
Europe, which can take the credit for placing climate change on the
international aviation agenda, must now take responsibility to ensure
that ICAO is successful,” said Bisignani.
four-pillar strategy to address climate change focuses on technology
investment, effective operations, efficient infrastructure and positive
economic measures. This is now an industry commitment supported by
airlines, manufacturers, airports, air navigation service providers and
industry partners. “Now governments must play their role responsibly by
taking the reality of US$140 oil into account, stopping their green
grand-standing, and joining the industry’s global and comprehensive
approach,” said Bisignani.
Giovanni Bisignani's speech