The organisation that represents 93 per cent of all scheduled international flights has urged the European Union to abandon plans to include aviation within the Emissions Trading Scheme that is due to launch in 2012.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed a commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency by 1.5 per cent annually up to 2020, capping net carbon emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral growth and cutting net emissions in half by 2050, compared to 2005 figures.
Airlines represent 2 per cent of global man-made CO2 emissions. In 2011 the aviation industry is set to create 650 million tonnes of CO2. By 2050 the industry aspires to have cut emissions to 320 million tonnes, while increasing overall passenger numbers.
“To achieve the positive economic measures, technology improvements, more efficient infrastructure and better operations necessary to meet our targets, governments need to be much more proactive stakeholders and real partners,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO in a speech at the Greener Skies conference in Hong Kong.
In the speech Taylor went on to discuss the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, claiming that it “could not be more misguided”.
“Europe’s plans contravene international law with the extra-territorial application of taxes. What right does Europe have to charge an Australian carrier for emissions over China? It is an attack on sovereignty that is being challenged by governments.
“Think of it from the perspective of Hong Kong. A direct flight to Europe will be charged on its emissions for its entire journey. But a connection through the Middle East or other closer hubs will be only charged for the last leg of the journey. This is an unacceptable market distortion.”
China,India and the US are among states formally opposing the EU ETS, which could cause disruption and more expensive flights to UK and European flight passengers.
“While we support emissions trading as a possible option in the medium term, our long-term vision is to reduce emissions, not pay for permits,” continued Tyler.
“Economic measures are a medium-term tool until technology, operations and infrastructure solutions are fully developed. And to do so, we need governments to support and strategically invest in more efficient infrastructure and low carbon technology.”
(Image: Sean MacEntee)