Report: Airlines Need To Steer Process On Reducing Emissions

by | Jun 13, 2007

The Hodgkinson Group has released a report, “Strategies for Airlines on Aircraft Emissions and Climate Change: Sustainable, Long-Term Solutions,” that evaluates possible strategies for airlines on aircraft emissions and climate change, including emissions trading.

The paper concludes that airlines should seriously consider supporting mandatory participation in an emissions offset market as part of a long-term strategy package (including technological, operational and management elements) and as a sustainable, long-term solution to deal with the climate impacts of aviation. This solution does not preclude other, complementary measures.

Earlier this week, EU transport ministers gave their approval to a European Commission proposal, which still has to be adopted by the European Parliament, for airlines to meet quotas either by reducing their emissions or buying carbon dioxide credits from other industries.

The report says that the industry should be moving ahead of -? rather than waiting for -? governments to take regulatory action, and should work on its own strategy package to present to governments rather than letting governments steer the process of change.

The Hodgkinson Group also suggest that, as a step prior to mandatory emissions offsets, airlines should introduce offsetting as an airline default -? or opt-out -? passenger emissions offset program. “Such actions allows airlines to take action in the immediate future, thus absorbing demands that they address the climate costs of aviation in a least cost manner,” the report states. “It would also provide airlines with much-needed information as to public/ passenger sensibilities concerning the climate impacts of aviation and environmental charges (broadly defined) ahead of mandatory
emissions offsets.”

Air Canada is the latest company to offer offsets to passengers.

Delta recently became the first U.S. airline to offer consumers a similar option.

Other airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Virgin Blue, and SAS have similar programs.

British Airways has taken some heat for not putting enough marketing muscle behind its voluntary program.

You can request a copy of the The Hodgkinson Group’s report here.

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