How to reduce emissions


Your Comment ("Fair Trade", Flight International, 16-22 November) fails to credit the UK government with being in the forefront of moves to include CO2 emissions from commercial aviation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme starting in 2008.

But emissions-trading schemes are untested and unproven on the scale now envisaged across Europe. There is already an increasing reluctance from some of the players involved, both countries and industrial sectors, to play by the allocation rules and accept the costs of participation and compliance.

The UK government has a menu of market-based approaches to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, which include a fuel tax and en-route emissions charges. Current thinking at European Union level is broadly similar.

This UK and EU menu-driven approach, when added to tougher operational and fuel-efficiency standards and performance, is the only way to control and reduce greenhouse gases from air transport. Cheap, "get-out-of-jail" tax-avoidance gambits devised and promoted by the industry's corporate affairs specialists can be dismissed for the non-policy options they clearly are, even if Flight International thinks they are the way forward.

All sectors of our economy must play their part in reducing greenhouse gases, not pretending to, as we move towards a low-carbon future. This will include doing away with the tax- free "favoured nation" status of air transport. And the sooner the better.

Jeffrey Gazzard

GreenSkies Alliance, London, UK



Source: Flight International