Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Air Cargo Group Tells EU It 'Ignores the Reality of Freight' and Carbon Emissions

TIACA Forecasts Massive Taxes and a Prejudicial Market with No Environmental Benefits
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE - TIACA, The International Air Cargo Association, is calling for other freight and passenger associations, businesses and governments to intensify efforts to bring about a review of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) after the European Advocate General of the Court of Justice (CJEU) recommended that the inclusion of international aviation in the scheme is compatible with international law. TIACA points out that the scheme appears to be in violation of international law and treaties and is likely to create massive aviation taxes whilst bestowing no environmental benefits and possibly even increasing carbon emissions.

Full details of TIACA’s objections were listed in our September article which explained how, as only overall flights were affected, airlines would be tempted to move operations to hubs just outside the EU thus only incurring charges on the short hop into or out of the region. These indirect routes were liable to increase, not decrease, fuel consumption and therefore also pollution levels might rise.

More than this TIACA stated that the ETS ignores the essential global nature of aviation, stating that the EU has ignored reality and taken ‘a regional approach’ to the issue. Last month in a letter to EU Climate Action Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, TIACA asked the EU to suspend implementation of the controversial program in favour of the development of a global agreement on aviation carbon emissions by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an approach, it stated, which was in keeping with the recommendations of The Kyoto Protocol which designated ICAO as the body with authority to set international aviation’s greenhouse gas policy.

The organisation further illustrated the great environmental advances the aviation industry has implemented and continues to develop. It pointed out that, since the introduction of jet aircraft, technological improvements have enabled the industry to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of airplanes, resulting in a 70% reduction in fuel consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions which are directly proportional to the amount of aviation fuel consumed. In addition, modern day airplanes are 30 decibels quieter, a 90% reduction in the noise footprint when compared to original commercial jets. Michael Steen, Chairman of TIACA, said:

“We are very disappointed by the recommendation by the Advocate General on the proposed January 1st start date of the ETS. We will however continue our campaign with full force as there is a groundswell of opposition to the scheme from international governments, trade associations and businesses and we must, as an industry, collectively raise our voices even louder until the EU listens and agrees with our recommendation for a global approach to be taken under the auspices of ICAO.”