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.

Tories abandon green proposals

Cameron and a hoody

Timed to perfection: on the day that a Mori poll showed widespread support for the Tories green agenda, Cameron is rumoured to have rejected key proposals from his Quality of Life commission.

In a move sure to win him the votes of precisely three people in Orpington, Dave is reported to have ditched Zac Goldsmith's much anticipated moratorium on runway expansion (49% support), VAT on flights (37% for, 34% against) and instead focused on a 'per plane' tax, as called for by eco-anarchists easyJet.

Looks like the climate has gone out the window. Not to worry - I'm sure that having less 'death tax' to pay will more than make up for there not being a planet left to inherit...

Public support for Quality of Life commission

A report by pollsters Ipsos-Mori confirms what environmentalists have been saying all along: high levels of popular support for the green agenda.

The report, Public finds much to support in Conservative's new Green Agenda, explored a number of potential Tory policies, and found widespread support for green taxation: 62% of people support the 'polluter pays' principle, while only 10% oppose it.

More planes = more emissions

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Once again the aviation industry has failed to get its sums right, as BA's attempts to greenwash their recent purchase of a bunch of mega-planes fails to ring true.

BA purchased 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Dreamliners, totalling 36 planes. Willie Walsh justified the purchase, stating that "These aircraft set the gold standard when it comes to environmental performance in the key areas of carbon dioxide emissions, local air quality and noise."

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."

DfT / aviation industry meetings

A Freedom of Information request published in July 2007 reveals just how close BAA and the DfT have become over the years.

Between July 2002 and April 2007, BAA met with the DfT no less than 117 times, including 24 meetings with the Secretary of State and at least 33 meetings with the Head of Airports Policy, Jonathan Sharrock.

All in all, the DfT met with airlines and airport operators 342 times between 2002 and April 2007. Unfortunately the FOI request doesn't tell us how many times the environment came up - but I'm willing to bet it wasn't a top priority.