To avoid having to comply with patchwork regulations from the United States, the European Union and other entities, a group of airlines is proposing a single global carbon emissions cap for the aviation industry.
The cap, which would be based on the amount of fuel consumed by each carrier, would allow airlines to purchase credits from other entitites. An additional allotment of permits would be auctioned, with the proceeds to go towards the Kyoto Protocol’s adaptation fund for developing nations, development of sustainable aviation biofuels and a U.N.-backed initiative to save forests in developing nations in return for tradeable carbon credits, according to Reuters.
The proposal comes from the Climate Group, a nongovernmental organization, and Air France/KLM, British Airways, Cathay and Virgin Atlantic. Those airlines recently started a coalition called the Aviation Global Deal Group, with the stated goal of seeing that any global climate treaty include an aviation component.
The airlines are presenting their proposal to the United Nations April 6, with the hope that nations adopt a global plan by 2013. The European Union has a comprehensive aviation emissions cap set to take effect in 2012.
The Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines estimates the global aviation industry emits about 650 million tons of CO2 annually.