| SINGAPORE, April 6
SINGAPORE, April 6 Four of the world's top
airlines have backed a global scheme to curb carbon emissions
and hope the proposal will be included in a broader U.N. pact
to fight climate change.
It is the first time airline firms have banded together to
make recommendations to U.N. climate change officials on how to
tackle the sector's carbon emissions.
Aviation is responsible for about two percent of global
greenhouse gas pollution and that share is expected to rise, as
leading green groups and the European Union demand the sector
clean up its act.
Air France/KLM (AIRF.PA), British Airways BAY.L, Cathay
Pacific (0293.HK), Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL], airport operator
BAA (FER.MC) and international NGO The Climate Group have
proposed a deal that covers all carbon pollution from the
international aviation sector.
This would ensure equal treatment for airlines and open the
way to global emissions trading within the sector and possibly
with other industries and countries.
"There are some airlines that still think "we're only 2 pct
of global emissions therefore let us get on with our job in
peace", said Mark Kenber, policy director of The Climate Group,
which advises businesses and governments on how to cut carbon
"That in Europe, not least as a PR pitch, doesn't work
anymore," he told Reuters by telephone from London.
"If airlines don't propose something credible
environmentally but also that works well for them economically,
then they will get saddled with some other option."
The proposal by the six-member aviation deal group is to be
presented to climate change negotiators later on Monday in Bonn
in Germany, where representatives from 175 nations are meeting
to work on a broader climate pact to replace the Kyoto
Negotiations for the post-Kyoto pact are due to be wrapped
up in December in Copenhagen.
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Conservation groups such as WWF say aviation has not been
doing enough to tackle the sector's growing share of greenhouse
gas pollution and must pay for its emissions like many other
Emissions from global aviation are about 650 million tonnes
of CO2 annually, according to the Association of Asia-Pacific
Many airlines say only a global approach is fair and
criticise the European Union's decision to include aviation in
the bloc's emissions trading scheme from 2012.
Kenber says the Aviation Global Deal Group is hoping other
major carriers will join and were talking to several other
airlines in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and the United
The scheme to be outlined later on Monday recommends that
nations agree to a global cap on aviation emissions and that
any scheme agreed must be integrated within a post-Kyoto
climate pact set to take effect from 2013.
According to the 43-point proposal, individual carriers
would surrender allowances in proportion to the carbon content
of their annual fuel purchases. A U.N. body should administer
the system, including the auction of permits.
Auction proceeds would be split between the Kyoto
Protocol's adaptation fund for developing nations, help fund
development of sustainable biofuels for use in aviation and
towards a U.N.-backed initiative that aims to save forests in
poorer nations in return for tradeable carbon credits.
Kenber said the group's next step was to conduct a deeper
analysis of what the aviation cap might be as well as how best
to integrate the scheme into the carbon market.
The ultimate aim was to have the scheme adopted as one of
the proposals on the table when U.N. climate negotiators meet
again in June in Bonn.
(Editing by Michael Urquhart)