Airline heads sign pact to limit climate change

Airline industry majors agree to help reuce environmental impact

24 April, 2008:

Key players in the airline industry such as aircraft makers, engine suppliers, airports and airline representatives have signed a “broad commitment” to help control adverse environmental impact of the aviation industry.

The agreement, called the Aviation Industry Commitment To Action on Climate Change, was signed at a conference of the aviation industry on environment held in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the pact, organisations and companies in the aviation sector pledged their commitment to a number of initiatives designed to make the “carbon-neutral growth’ going forward, CNN has reported.

The initiatives pledged at the conference included using of new technologies like cleaner fuels, optimising the fuel efficiency of the aircraft fleet, streamlining air routes and air traffic management, and improving infrastructure at airports.

Those who took part in the Geneva conference of the aviation industry on environment included Boeing Company, Airbus, Bombardier Incorporated, Embraer, engine makers Rolls-Royce PLC and General Electric Company, Airports Council International, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents over 240 airlines worldwide.

Of late, the aviation industry has come under fire from environmental activists for increased aircraft-engine emissions. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents, leads and serves the airline industry, has countered the charge by insisting that the aviation industry is responsible for a minimal 2% of man-made global carbon dioxide emissions.

Most experts are of the opinion that airlines are to blame for about 2% of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide – a gas believed to contribute to global warming. However, experts differ on the environmental impact of other gases emitted by aircraft, which are also are deemed to add to global warming.

In a report, the Australian newspaper The Age has commented that, by putting in place a program to limit the environmental impact of the aviation sector, the aviation industry has once again made known its opposition to the European Union’s plans to set up a regional emissions trading system.

The attempt by the 27-nation European Union (EU) to include commercial airlines in its ‘cap-and-trade program’ has been opposed by the airline industry as well as by the United States, China, and other countries.

Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, was quoted as telling the delegates at the Geneva conference, “Europe’s unilateral approach will only lead to legal battles and trade wars. Non-European Union countries would not accept, let alone adopt, a trading system imposed by the EU.”

Europe would like all aircraft flying within the European Union to trade pollution allowances starting 2011, forcing them to buy more if they want to increase their flights.






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