FARNBOROUGH 2008: EU aviation policy 'a scandal' - Enders

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Airbus president Tom Enders has branded European Union and national government policies on aviation and the environment as “a scandal”.

He rounded on their failure on the one hand to create an environmentally-friendly “single sky” while on the other imposing carbon-trading or possible “environmental taxes” on aviation that could prevent airlines investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Enders was speaking at the launch of a ground-breaking agreement with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) under which it will throw its weight behind the CBD’s world-wide educational campaign for young people.

“It is a scandal that governments and the European Union has failed in 40 years to implement the European Single Sky,” he said. “Rather than tackling that they are imposing new taxes.”

tom enders and ahmed djoghlah 
 Airbus's Enders (left) and Ahmed Djoghlah executive secretary for the UN CBD

 
Commenting on the current difficult economic situation, he says authorities “put another burden on airlines”, which means they will find it more and more difficult to invest to replace older, fuel-inefficient aircraft.

The partnership with CBD is the latest move by Airbus on the sustainability front. Enders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ahmed Djoghlah, executive secretary for the UN CBD under which Airbus will support the CBD’s Green Wave educational programme on the threats to biodiversity.

The Green Wave programme will provide support to schools around the world to educate students on the need to protect the diversity of life on earth. Airbus’s initial involvement is to help raise public awareness of the initiative through a joint global communications campaign.

The European airframer will then work with airlines and other players in the industry to further develop support for the Green Wave campaign and the CBD.

“Changing land use is a key factor in the loss of biodiversity,” said Enders. “Aviation has a great track record in bringing people together and helping to spread development, but with minimal impact on land use,” says Enders.