Tag: airline emissions

EPA stops work on airline emissions standards

Air travel accounts for one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas pollution. @bberwyn photo.

Agency’s move could violate federal environmental laws

Staff Report

A little more than a year after determining that greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft are a threat to public health, the EPA has stopped working on developing new standards for the air industry.

That’s not surprising, given that the Trump administration has sought to undermine nearly every rule set to limit heat-trapping pollution, but environmental advocates with the Center for Biological Diversity want to know more about the latest step backward by the EPA. Continue reading “EPA stops work on airline emissions standards”


Is the aviation industry greenwashing its climate impacts?

Above the Continental Divide of the Rockies in Colorado, with several ski areas, including Keystone and Breckenridge visible.
Is the aviation industry making progress toward more sustainable air travel? @bberwyn photo.

Researchers say promises of new technologies hide true impacts of jet travel

Staff Report

Abetted by the media and politicians, the aviation industry may be engaging in a bit of deceptive greenwashing when it comes to the issue of sustainable air travel, according to a team of university researchers from three countries.

The new study published in the journal Transportation Research Part D  says the way new technologies have been hyped as solutions to addressing the environmental impacts of air travel has perpetuated a culture of non-accountability for increased emissions.

By 2050, aviation will account for 19 percent of the total energy use by the transportation sector, compared to just 11 percent in 2006, said Dr. Scott Cohen, of the University of Surrey.

For the medium-term, the aviation industry has agreed to move toward an overall cap on emissions. In an early February meeting, technical experts with the International Civil Aviation Organization agreed on the proposed standard this week; the organization is expected to adopt the standard at an annual meeting this spring. The industry will also start to consider an overall cap on emissions at 2020 levels. The ICAO could take a vote on such a cap, as well as a carbon-trading program, later this year.

The step is important because if international aviation were a country, it would be a top ten emitter of CO2 on par with Germany or the United Kingdom. And it’s expected to grow enormously as global travel increases. More than 50,000 new large aircraft slated to take to the skies in the next few decades, potentially quadrupling emissions if left unchecked.

Continue reading “Is the aviation industry greenwashing its climate impacts?”

Climate: Aviation industry eyes 2016 emissions cap

Contentious meeting ends with small step forward

A passenger jet flies above the mountains of Greenland. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The international aviation community last week took another small step toward capping greenhouse gas emissions by agreeing to develop a global market-based measure to cap international aviation’s carbon pollution at 2020 levels.

The International Civil Aviation Organization agreed to finalize what will likely be a cap and trade emissions program by 2016 in a meeting that was marked by uncertainty until the very end, according to Environmental Defense Fund attorney Annie Petsonk, who has been watch-dogging the aviation industry.

According to the EDF, if aviation were a country, it would rank among the world’s top ten largest emitters, and it is one of the fastest growing sources of global warming pollution. Continue reading “Climate: Aviation industry eyes 2016 emissions cap”

Obama signs anti-environmental airline measure

The debate about controlling airline emissions rages on.

Conservation groups pin hopes on global airline emissions deal

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Obama administration may be talking the talk on climate change, but it’s not clear if the president is ready to walk the walk — especially after signing into law a bill that was partly driven by Jim Inhofe, the U.S. Senate’s most infamous global warming denier.

The new law gives federal officials the ability to prevent U.S. airlines from complying with European Union airline emissions regulations — rules that have been suspended for a year while the International Civil Aviation Organization  tries to develop a global mechanism for controlling airline emissions.

Obama’s signature of the measure drew a mixed response, with some groups panning the president for his actions, while others said they are hopeful that the U.S. will help lead the aviation community to a solution. Continue reading “Obama signs anti-environmental airline measure”

Congress tries to thwart EU action on airline emissions

U.S. airlines don’t want to play by EU rules, and Congress has their back.

Bill would allow U.S. airlines to disobey duly passed carbon cap regulations

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Congress didn’t accomplish much the past few months, but in one of its last acts before recessing for the upcoming campaign season, the U.S. Senate did manage to throw a monkey wrench into European Union plans to try and cap greenhouse gas emissions from passenger jets.

That’s symbolic for a Congress that has been focused primarily on obstruction for the past two years, and shows how U.S. politicians are out of touch with the global move to try and tackle global warming. That’s probably why the bill was was passed under cover of the night — at 2 a.m. Saturday, to be exact, when nobody was looking. Continue reading “Congress tries to thwart EU action on airline emissions”