Page 31 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2016 publication
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Summer 2016 European Energy Innovation      31


economies. By 2050, the industry has         The standard approach for dealing           compliance and verification of
committed to reduce its net carbon           with greenhouse gas emissions from          emissions. Existing regional schemes
footprint to 50 per cent below what it       most parts of the global economy            capture fewer emissions than the
was in 2005 (source: ATAG).                  is enshrined in the United Nations          expected global solution and a
                                             Framework Convention on Climate             patchwork of parallel, competing
Aircraft operators have developed            Change (UNFCCC), of which the Kyoto         and conflicting regional/national
many operating procedures that               Protocol is a subsidiary mechanism.         schemes and GMBMs would inevitably
minimise fuel usage, for example,            The Kyoto Protocol provides limits          result in competitive distortions and
single engine taxiing, reduced thrust        on emissions to be placed on the            unnecessary administrative complexity
take-offs or continued descent               developed world, while the developing       for operators.
approaches where minimum power               world is not subject to such restrictions.
is used in the approach profile. The         In the past months the aviation industry    In light of the above, ERA expects that
reform of air traffic management, which      has worked closely with governments         the adoption and implementation
enables fewer delays, less holding and       to provide its expertise and input to       of the ICAO global solution (GMBM)
non-direct routings caused by Europe’s       the members of the International Civil      will replace the EU Emissions Trading
currently inefficient air traffic control,   Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with           System (EU ETS) legislation currently
can also help to cut down fuel usage         regards to an agreement to develop a        applicable to all flights within the
and the industry’s overall fuel burn by      single, global market-based measure         European Economic Area (EU
as much as 10 per cent. More efficient       (GMBM) for the aviation sector. The         members, Iceland, Liechtenstein and
use of fuel is also being achieved           measure will be agreed at the next          Norway). We are confident that the EU
through new engine technology,               ICAO Assembly in autumn 2016 and be         ETS legislation can be amended to
lower weight aircraft and more               ready for implementation from 2020.         provide for an appropriate
aerodynamically efficient aircraft.          The work to design such a scheme is         transition mechanism to ensure that
                                             now taking place through the ICAO           operators currently subject to the EU
With regards to alternative fuels to         process.                                    ETS are not subject to a double scheme
jet fuel (kerosene), operators, fuel                                                     with separate, overlapping measures
companies and regulators are working         In Europe the main tool for aviation        and duplicated administrative
to develop biofuels as a complementary       is the EU Emissions Trading System          obligations.
fuel source to existing carbon-based         (EU ETS) – aviation was included in
fuel. It is expected that carbon reduction   the EU ETS from 2012. The original          Beside the considerable progress
from moving to alternative fuels could       aim was to capture all flights that         achieved in recent years in
be up to 80 per cent compared with           arrived or departed from an EU airport.     reducing the noise generated by
traditional jet fuel, but the challenge      However, following huge international       aircraft, governments, industry and
now is to industrialise the production       opposition, the EU amended the              environmental groups have recently
of biofuel and ensure that the               scheme and excluded international           finalised the design of the first global
infrastructure is available to supply the    flights (outside the EU) for one year in    certification ICAO standard for CO2
fuel to the point of use at airports.        2012. The ‘freeze’ has been extended        emissions from new aircraft. This means
                                             until at least 2016 but, in practice, this  that any new aircraft in the world will
Despite progress by the industry on          means that only flights within the EU       be subject to a rigorous environmental
reducing its emissions through these         are included in the scheme.                 certification process before entering
three strategies, they will not be                                                       service.
sufficient to meet the goal of carbon-       For ERA, as an organisation
neutral growth from 2020. Therefore,         representing primarily intra-               The aviation industry is committed
at least for a period of time, there will    EU operators, the decision was              to addressing its impact on the
be a need to turn to a market-based          disappointing for its membership.           environment and has made impressive
measure to meet that cap on aviation’s       At best, the scheme will capture            progress on a number of counts. It will
CO2 emissions. The industry has argued       between 25-28 per cent of aviation          continue to work with governments,
since 2008 that any market-based             CO2 emissions in Europe which               aircraft and engine manufacturers,
measure for air transport must be            is environmentally ineffective              airports and air navigation service
global in scope, to reflect what is a truly  while adding complexity and cost            providers towards enabling ever
global industry.                             to European airlines to achieve             greener skies. l
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