Donald Trump hit with aviation emissions fine for UK flights

US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been fined for the carbon pollution caused by part of his aircraft real estate, joining the Bahrain royal family and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox America in breaching EU emissions trading schemes.

In an updated list for the first month of 2016, the Environment Agency is enforcing emissions trading schemes (ETS) fines of more than £750,000 to 25 aviation operators and associates for carbon pollution in the UK.

The 25 companies have been charged with a “failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover annual reportable emissions”.

Trump faces a £1,610 penalty due to flights to the UK in a plane from DJT Operations I LLC, which forms part of the real estate for the Trump Organisation. Meanwhile, the Bahrain royal family has been ordered to pay £60,698 and 21st Century Fox America has been fined £17,463.

Construction giant JCB was handed the biggest fine of £157,596.

ETS charges polluters a carbon permit or a £75 cost for every tonne of carbon emitted. Permits are often available to airlines for free or can be purchased for small amounts of money.

The carbon fines are likely to perplex Trump who fails to accept the scientific concept of global warming and climate change.

The fine will create more climate-based frustration for Trump, who recently lost a legal case to stop the construction of a wind farm near his golf resort in Aberdeenshire. Britain’s Supreme Court judges dismissed Trump’s attempts to block construction of an 11 turbine development near Trump’s Menie Estate golf resort, a decision which Trump said was “small-minded and parochial”.

Stakes on a plane

The new batch of ETS fines highlights the continued struggle that the aviation sector is dealing with to combat climate change.

Omitted from the COP21 talks, the aviation industry is still around 12 years behind efficiency targets set by the UN’s aviation body. This is despite a 45% reduction in average aircraft fuel burn in the last 40 years.

The lack of a clear and legally binding target for the sector is currently being discussed amongst the industry. With emissions from aviation and maritime likely to skyrocket by 250% by 2050 without targets, the mooted talks are a welcome relief.

Last week,NASA claimed that America’s aviation industry could reduce pollutant emissions by 75% – saving $250bn in the process – by incorporating refined green technologies that the Agency has developed over the past six years.

Matt Mace

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