The European Commission moved closer to endorsing aviation's in­clusion in emissions trading after a key debate last week.

During the EC's environment-focused Green Week, the Brussels-based executive was presented with views from stakeholders involved in efforts to reduce the climate change impact of aviation. However, an April proposal from German member of the European parliament Karl-Heinz Florenz to include aviation in the new emissions-trading scheme rather than impose a kerosene tax appears to have been backed by panel members, including the Airports Council International, Association of European Airlines and the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe.

Florenz says he supports efforts to reduce the average fuel consum­ption of commercial aircraft from 3 litres/100 passenger-km (80 passenger miles/US gallon) to 2 litres/100 passenger-km within 10 years.

Carbon dioxide and water vapour emissions directly contribute to global warming and nitrogen oxides contribute indirectly by creating ozone, a powerful greenhouse gas. The most efficient way to reduce aircraft engine emissions is to reduce fuel consumption. Florenz believes emission trading will force airlines to demand more fuel-efficient aircraft rather than buy additional credits.


Source: Flight International