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Major airlines say, ‘Regulate our carbon’

airplane-wingA new coalition of four major airlines says the next global treaty on climate change should take into the account greenhouse gas emissions of international aviation.

The Aviation Global Deal Group (AGDG) was formed by Air France/KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic and airport operator BAA.

“Aviation has a key part to play in reducing global emissions and for too long has been seen as part of the climate problem rather than part of the solution,” said Tony Tyler, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific Airways. “We hope the work of our group will offer a practical industry-led solution that creates a level-playing field and appeal to policy-makers, environmental groups and businesses alike.”

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the current global treaty on climate change, there is no mechanism in place for managing airline emissions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), international aviation accounts for about 2 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

International leaders plan to meet in Copenhagen this December to begin drafting the next global climate change treaty.

The AGDG is asking them to include airlines when those talks begin. Meeting in Hong Kong this week, the new coalition issued a communiqué asking for a “pragmatic, fair and effective global policy solution for the sector.”

“The (AGDG) recognises the need to find a global solution to our emissions that meets environmental and developmental needs whilst ensuring a level playing field in our markets,” the communiqué stated. “We also underscore the need for our industry to continue to invest in the sector’s key emissions reduction drivers, namely fleet replacement, infrastructure improvement and sustainable biofuels.”

The coalition said any framework adopted to regulate aviation emissions should be based on four principles: environmental integrity, a global approach toward policy measures, equal treatment for all airlines and equity among all countries.

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