Campaigners slam aviation emissions trading

Protestors interrupted a summit on aviation emissions trading to protest that the scheme will allow the aviation industry to continue emitting carbon while claiming they are being green.

Members of campaign group London Rising Tide made an impromptu speech to delegates at Emissions Trading Aviation 2007 at Selfridges Hotel, in London, on Wednesday, to highlight their fears that emissions trading will not have a significant impact on curbing aviation emissions.

The conference had been organised to help the carbon trading and aviation industries to understand more about plans to include aviation in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2011.

However, London Rising Tide argued that airport expansion needed to be stopped and the number of flights needed to be reduced to significantly cut aviation’s impact on climate change.

A London Rising Tide spokesman – who did not want to be identified – told Edie: “The EU Emissions Trading Scheme and any carbon trading scheme is just something to enable business as usual to continue and that is not good enough.

“We are certainly not going to get out of the mess we are in if business continues as usual.”

The conference followed a vote in the European Parliament earlier this month which saw MEPs overwhelmingly back the Commission’s plan to include the aviation sector in the ETS.

However, MEPs have introduced significant changes to the draft law, including capping ETS allowances for carbon emissions at 90% of average levels during 2004-06, instead of the proposed 100%.

Speakers at the conference had urged the aviation and tourism sectors to get on board as soon as possible, help to develop the scheme and ensure they were preparing for the impact to their businesses when it is introduced from 2011.

Niels Ladefoged, policy officer for the Clean Air and Transport Unit in the European Commission’s Environment Directorate, said: “I would strongly recommend you to work with us to get these guidelines right.”

Kate Martin

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