New bid to stop air pollution

CONSULTATION is today taking place on how the aviation industry can play its part in combating climate change by limiting the amount of polluting carbon dioxide emitted by planes.

CONSULTATION is today taking place on how the aviation industry can play its part in combating climate change by limiting the amount of polluting carbon dioxide emitted by planes.

Emissions from aviation have grown by 87 per cent since 1990 - and with air travel forecast to increase dramatically in the next 20 years, the situation will get much worse without action.

Residents in Suffolk have already been voicing concern about pollution by planes, with vapour trails often blotting out the sunshine in certain weather conditions.

The number of planes over the county has increased substantially in the past three years following airspace changes, and householders are bracing themselves for more aircraft above them in the years to come with Stansted set to expand.

The Evening Star launched its Air Fair campaign to highlight the growth in aircraft and the problems this could bring.

Government is now seeking views on how the aviation sector can join the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

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The scheme places a total cap on the amount of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide industries can emit and sets up a “carbon market” allowing operators - such as airlines and airports - to sell carbon capacity they do not use or buy extra capacity for their needs from those operators using less than their emissions limits by using more efficient technology.

Environment and climate change minister Ian Pearson said: “Much of UK industry already plays its part in the EU ETS which now covers nearly half of the UK's carbon emissions.”

The minister, who earlier this year described RyanAir as “The irresponsible face of capitalism,” added: “While still relatively small, aviation is the fastest growing source of emissions in the UK. It's now time that the aviation sector joins this effort and joins a scheme which puts a cap on its emissions.”

Consultation is looking at which flights should be included in the scheme - for example, those arriving and departing from the EU or just those flying between EU airports - and how the scheme should be regulated, and allowances allocated.

Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, Mike Childs said: “Aviation is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide in the UK.

“Emissions have more than doubled since 1990. The Government must do more to ensure that the cost of flying reflects the environmental damage that aviation causes.”

Are you worried about the pollution from the increasing number of planes over Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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