The airline industry must be feeling like it’s been put in stocks on the village green in medieval times.
Instead of being pelted with rotten fruit, it’s pelted with high oil prices, a credit crunch, a global economy that is in meltdown and now the news that a European Parliament committee has voted to make Europe’s planned inclusion of aviation in its emissions trading scheme even tougher on the industry.
The committee wants the level of emissions permits to be auctioned to increase from 15% in 2012 to 20% in 2013 to 100% in 2020. This would mean no freebie carbon dioxide emissions permits – you have to pay to pollute.
Airline groups are up in arms, with the Association of European Airlines accusing members of the European Parliament of being “so dogmatic that they have lost touch with reality”. The International Air Carrier Association says it is “dismayed” that MEPs have decided to “inflict more damaging and extreme measures on the aviation industry, especially at a time of great economic uncertainty for the sector, airline bankruptcies and weakening demand”.
What are your opinions on this? Should the focus on the environment wane while we’re all in the midst of an economic crisis? Or should it remain as important, if not more important, as unlike the actions of the banks, the extent to which the world’s temperature rises is actually something that we can control?
Or are you of the same mindset as Sarah Palin (and hopefully there aren’t TOO many mindsets like that in the world!), who remains unconvinced that our actions have had an impact on climate change?