Green movement could raise cargo rates
Published: Sep 23, 2009
IATA AVIATION INDUSTRY CARBON EMISSION
Global - The cost of air cargo could rise if plans by airlines to reduce carbon emissions get the nod, says BA CEO Willie Walsh.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented its proposals for climate change to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General's Summit on Climate Change in New York yesterday, as a run-up to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen this December.
At the forum, Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways (BA) unveiled an agreement between airlines, airports and aircraft companies to cut carbon emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050.
However, Walsh said earlier that a global scheme to cut carbon emissions would add about three billion pounds (US$4.8 billion) to industry costs which would be passed on to passengers through higher fares.
"International aviation emissions were not included in the Kyoto Protocol 12 years ago. Now we have a chance to rectify that omission, and we must seize it," Walsh said to UN delegates.
"Our proposals represent the most environmentally effective and practical means of reducing aviation's carbon impact. They are the best option for the planet and we urge the UN to adopt them," said Walsh.
Environmental group Greenpeace was sceptical of the announcement, the BBC reported.
"This announcement is little more than an elaborate conjuring trick, designed to make the public think that BA is serious about climate change while it carries on with business as usual," said Vicky Wyatt, an official at Greenpeace.
"The focus must be on reducing demand for flights, which means scrapping plans for a third runway at Heathrow and investing in alternatives such as high-speed rail instead," Wyatt said.
Ed Miliband, United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who is at the New York summit, said achieving a deal on climate change would not be easy.
"Many of the jigsaw pieces are starting to come into place, despite the fact that we are trying to do something incredibly difficult, which is get an agreement among 189 countries and do something the world has never done before, which is cut our overall emissions and that is incredibly hard," said Miliband.
Members of the IATA have pledged to make all industry growth carbon neutral by 2020 and to cut carbon emissions by 1.5% per year over the next decade.
"Climate change is a global problem. Aviation is a global industry. And we need a global approach for this industrial sector if we are to deal with climate change effectively," said Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of IATA.
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