From the office of the South-East England’s Green MEP Caroline Lucas
AIRLINES REELING AFTER EU CLIMATE CHANGE VOTEMEPs ADOPT GREEN PROPOSALS TO CUT FLYING’S IMPACT ON CLIMATEAIRLINES have been left reeling after a vote in the European Parliamentcalled for a raft of measures to tackle their growing contribution toclimate change.Euro-MPs in Strasbourg voted by 439 to 74 to adopt proposals drafted byGreen Party MEP Caroline Lucas to introduce a range of measures including anairlines-only CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme and emissions charges to tackletheir non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. There were 102 abstentions.Dr Lucas told fellow MEPs the EU must take action to curb airlines’greenhouse gas emissions if we are to stand any chance of avoidingdevastating climate change: “Doing nothing just isn’t an option”."The aviation sector is growing fast – aircraft movements are predicted todouble by 2020 and triple by 2030 - and technological efficiency gains justaren't enough to counteract the massive increases in emissions that thiswill generate.“We simply have no choice but to clip the airlines' wings and force them toreduce their impact on the climate, if we are to stand any chance of cuttingour emissions by the level that’s needed to halt the deadly march of climatechange."Airlines currently enjoy a complex array of tax breaks and hidden subsidies- worth more than £9 billion in the UK alone - which are long outdated andtotally incompatible with global climate goals. International progress onremoving these and getting the industry to pay its way has been pitifullyslow, which is why we must ensure the EU really paves the way for globalaction by introducing the most effective legislation possible.“Emissions trading has the potential to play a role in reducing the climatechange impact of aviation - but only if it is accompanied by other measuresto tackle the fact that aircraft emissions are two to four times more potentthan those from other industries (because of the altitude at which they areemitted, and the effects of non-CO2 emissions like condensation trails andnitrogen oxides) – and, crucially, only if it doesn’t allow airlines tocarry on business as usual by gobbling up the emission rights of othersectors.”MEPs have been intensively lobbied by the airlines in recent weeks – withmost calling for air travel to be included in the EU’s existing EmissionsTrading Scheme: a measure which will do little to deter airlines’ futureemissions growth. Even Andrew Sentance, BA’s head of environmental affairs,openly admitted as much last week.Dr Lucas’s report will now form the Parliament’s submission to the EUCommission’s forthcoming legislative proposals – which could be on the EUstatute book by 2008.“At a time when few now deny the urgency of addressing climate change, therapid growth in flying threatens to throw all efforts to reduce dangerousemissions off course,” added Dr Lucas, who is also an MEP for South-EastEngland and Green Party Principal Speaker.“We must work together to find ways of making the aviation industry reduceits social and environmental impact, rather than draining tax payers’ cashas it continues to generate pollution, noise, congestion – and climatechange.”
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Aviation is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change. As part of Airportwatch, Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to rethink its aviation policy - you can make a difference by emailing the Secretary of State for Transport at http://www.rethink.airportwatch.org.uk/ You can also lessen your environmental impact by holidaying in the UK or finding alternative ways to travel at http://www.seat61.com (includes destinations in the UK, Europe and beyond).
Almost all changes in waste policy in the UK rely on European Union laws. The EU is currently discussing a revision of waste laws, with both EU Member States and the European Parliament voting to decide what changes. Friends of the Earth wants to persuade the UK Government to push for improvements. Email Ian Pearson MP, the UK Minister for the Environment, to push for more waste prevention and maximum recycling - visit http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/waste/press_for_change/eu/
Of course I could not resist a slight tweak, but as you'll gather should you compare, I think they got the content and tone pretty much right on: