Liz | 21.12.2005 22:27 | Ecology
Air travel produces 19 times the greenhouse gas emissions of trains and 190 times that of a ship.
If aviation continues to grow at its present rate all other sectors will have to reduce emissions to zero to meet the Government’s commitment to reduce C02 emissions by 60% by 2050.
Greenhouse gas emissions caused by UK air travel have doubled in the past 13 years.
Aircraft taking off from the UK emit more CO2 than from any other country in the world except the United States.
A passenger on a long haul flight accounts for as much C02 as an average motorist produces in a year.
Emissions at altitude have up to 4 times the environmental impact of those on the ground.
Air travel is growing at UK airports at an average of 4.25%. In 1970, 32 million flew from UK airports; in 2002 189 million. By 2030 some 500 million passengers may pass through UK airports.
Cargo transportation is growing by 7% a year. In 1970 580,000 tonnes of freight were moved by plane; in 2002, 2.2 million tonnes were moved by plane. It is forecast to reach 5 million tonnes in 2010.
Flying 1kg of asparagus from California to the UK uses 900 times more energy than the home grown equivalent.
Sending goods by air, weight for weight, results in up to a hundred times as much pollution as sending them by train.
Globally, flying produces more than 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (an average household produces in the region of 2 tonnes per year).
There is currently no tax on aviation fuel and the Government gives an annual £9 billion of publicly funded subsidy to the aviation industry
The Government’s commitment to reduce C02 emissions by 60% by 2050 is incompatible with its plans to build new runways at Heathrow, Birmingham and Stansted.
For more information see:
There is an international ban on the taxation of aviation fuel (not the fuel that pissy little planes use –thank you Gulliver for your comment). It is not “legal” to impose tax on aviation fuel due to an international agreement, the Convention on International Civil Aviation, known as the Chicago Convention. The Chicago Convention, established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 1947, exempts international aviation from paying tax on fuel, whether as a duty or as VAT.
The implementation of the Chicago Convention has been managed through some 4000 bi-lateral agreements meaning that to re-negotiate it would be a bureaucratic nightmare and the politicians here in UK and EU do not want to upset their capitalist buddies who are destroying this planet and our future so they can make a quick buck.
Go read the Hansard debate on Tax on Aviation Fuel.
The Aviation industry has been excluded from the Kyoto Protocol, due to the complexities of imposing domestic legislation on pollutants that are emitted in various national air spaces and the global commons. For these historical reasons, the aviation sector has a privileged position with regard to taxation in relation to other modes of transport.
My information is correct.
Sources listed below - to name but a few
Research on Aviation summary By Michael McCarthy, Marie Woolf and Michael Harrison Published: 28 May 2005 reported in the Independent
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change (North) The University of Manchester - Growth Scenarios for EU & UK Aviation: Contradictions With Climate Policy
Brendon Sewell report Fly Now Grieve Later
Institute for Pubic policy research - various reports- Plane Trading & The Sky is the Limit
IATA Fuel Trade Meeting - Aviation Fuel And The Environment
FOE aviation briefing may 2005
Measures to Curb the Climate Change Impacts of Aviation Position Paper – June 2005 European Environment Bureau (EEB) Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) International Friends of Nature (IFN) European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E)
SERA EU report sustainable Aviation Policy – Lost In Translation
General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC), European Transport Policy for 2010 Time to Decide
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Defra funded Fast-Track Research
Environmental Change’, Volume 14,
UK Climate Impacts Programme
DfT, general reports reports inc 2003, ‘The Future of Air Transport’.
The Energy Saving Trust,
Environmental Audit Committee report, ‘Aviation: Sustainability and the Government’s second response’.
Sustainable Development Commission
AEA Report for DEFRA the validity of food miles
CONSAVE 2050 report - Competitive and sustainable growth
Jeffrey Gazzard President of the Union Européene Contre les Nuisances des Avions – Airports and the Environment
The Financial Times
EU Commission and Parliament transcripts
Hansard - debate on Aviation Fuel Tax
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) summary text of bilateral air service agreements.
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