emissions trading

America lead the way on lots of aviation emissions

The US Senate passed a bill on Saturday which means US airlines are exempt from paying for their emissions on European Flights.

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which has been enforced by the European Commission since January is dysfunctional at best but the fact that the US cannot even sign up to it is very worrying and sends out the complete wrong message on climate change.

Republican senator John Thune said in a statement:

"The Senate's action today will help ensure that US air carriers and passengers will not be paying down European debt through this illegal tax and can instead be investing in creating jobs and stimulating our own economy."

The Republicans statement should of read:

"The Senate's action today will help ensure that US air carriers and passengers will not worry about climate change and can instead carry on with business as usual as if climate change doesn't even exist."

The US continue to have no programme in place to address its own aviation emissions.

MEPs water down aviation emissions scheme

As the dust settles following the ICAO / EU battle over aviation emissions, news reaches us that MEPs have significantly retreated from ordering significant cuts in CO2 from aircraft.

After talking big about how the Emissions Trading Scheme would dramatically reduce emissions, the EU has decided to reduce the sector's output to 66% above 1990 levels - a far cry from the Kyoto targets originally proposed. They are also planning to give away 50% of the credits, potentially providing a huge bonus to industry coffers.

Ruth Kelly acts decisively...

STOP PRESS: Ruth Kelly has today announced that the UK "acted decisively today to safeguard the proposed European aviation emissions trading scheme".

Sounds great - but what did they actually do? "At the ICAO Assembly, delegates from other countries expressed their wish to move forward on the basis of an international consensus, but insisted on an approach that would have effectively prevented the EU from introducing an emissions trading scheme for non-EU flights."