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.
Industry trade group touts global market-based carbon cap
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The commercial aviation industry is moving closer to adopting a carbon-neutral growth strategy, as the International Air Transport Association last week endorsed the idea of a a single global cap on emissions of international flights to take effect in 2020.
“Airlines are committed to working with governments to build a solid platform for the future sustainable development of aviation,” IATA’s director general and CEO Tony Tyler said after the trade group endorsed a resolution that could lead toward establishment of a market-based mechanism to achieve carbon-neutral growth starting in 2020. Continue reading “Airline industry takes step toward carbon-neutral future”→
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.
FRISCO — In a move that was emblematic of this congressional session’s futility, the House Tuesday passed an unprecedented bill that would give the executive branch the power to ban airlines from complying with recognized international law — the only problem is, the law that it’s aimed at has already been temporarily suspended for a year.
At issue are European Union regulations regarding airline carbon emissions. The EU rules are aimed at reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gases, but have been put on hold for flights to and from the EU pending the outcome of talks aimed at developing a global plan for the airline industry, which, for the most part, has been kicking and screaming all the way to the table.
Senate committee passes bill that could block U.S. airlines from joining an EU carbon-reduction plan
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — While much of the world is trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the commercial air travel, U.S. politicians seen intent on trying to stymy progress in the airline sector.
The Senate Commerce Committee this week passed a bill (S.1956) that would give the U.S. secretary of transportation authority to ban U.S. airlines from participating in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System if he thinks it serves the public interest. The bill does not ban U.S. airlines from participating in the EU system.
“Passage of this disappointing and short-sighted bill today seems only to decrease the odds of action at the international level by calling into question the status of the one lever that actually moved the International Civil Air Organizationto have serious discussions after 15 years of inaction – the EU Emissions Trading System,” said Annie Petsonk, international counsel for Environmental Defense Fund.
“This bill now ups the pressure on the Obama administration to produce a solution at ICAO. We are happy to see the text at least encouraged international negotiations at ICAO, which we believe hold the key to a global agreement to reduce aviation emissions.
“Legislation that blocks American companies from obeying the laws of the countries in which they do business is almost unprecedented in U.S. history, showing up most recently when Congress barred American firms from suborning apartheid in South Africa,” Petsonk said. “How disconcerting that airlines, which are spending significant funds touting their environmental friendliness, are acting as though an anti-pollution law is as grievous as a massive human rights violation.”
Environmental groups want agency to set a timeline for action on airplane greenhouse gas emissions
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The EPA is dragging its feet on controlling greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes, the Environmental Defense Fund said this week, reinforcing arguments made in court by a coalition of groups seeking to establish a timeline for EPA action.
The hearing in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia is part of a 2010 lawsuit that charges the EPA with unreasonablly delaying action. The courts have already ruled that the EPA must act on airline emissions in response to a petition filed in 2007, but the agency doesn’t have a specific timeline it must follow, according EDF attorney Pamela Campos. Continue reading “Lawsuit pushes EPA to regulate airplane emissions”→