Airlines' C02 reduction concerns

AIRLINES are today worried about proposals to reduce carbon emissions from jet planes which are adding to global warming.The concerns come in the wake of The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign.

AIRLINES are today worried about proposals to reduce carbon emissions from jet planes which are adding to global warming.

The concerns come in the wake of The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign.

Under the plans from the European Commission, airlines will have to meet quotas either by reducing their emissions or buying CO2 credits from other industries.

But some airlines fear the purchase of the extra CO2 credits will add millions of pounds to their running costs and wreck the industry, causing many companies to go bust.

Pollution is a hot topic in the aviation industry at present. Even though aircraft CO2 emissions account for only around three per cent of the total emissions into the atmosphere worldwide, they have increased by 87pc since 1990.

One of the No More Stansted campaign's main concerns is the impact of more jets on the environment - both in the atmosphere above Suffolk and on the ground, with little research so far into the effect air pollution has on the land.

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Aircraft flying at high altitude have an impact on global warming two to four times greater than the emissions they release because planes leave condensation trails which add to the greenhouse gas effect.

However, airlines, which have already been criticised for not offering passengers enough incentive to offset their carbon emissions, are now saying the emissions trading scheme will not work either.

In a joint statement, six European airline associations said: “The European Commission's proposal in its present form will jeopardise the long-term viability of the European aviation industry”.

Price hikes could discourage air travel, and European carriers would struggle to compete with rivals from elsewhere, as well as having to spend millions of pounds on buying CO2 credits.

Government ministers want Britain to join the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to help combat climate change and says “aviation should meet its environmental costs and emissions trading is the best option for this”.

Alastair McDermid, BAA director of the Stansted second runway project, said: “The hugely important issue of climate change is a global problem requiring international action and BAA is helping to tackle the challenge by taking the lead in the air transport industry through our active support for the inclusion of aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme. We see this as much more effective than blunt taxation.”

n Are you worried by pollution from aircraft? Have you cut down on flying because of climate change? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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