Jennifer Kohnke

Carbon Emissions’ Friendly Skies

The airline industry is responsible for 4.9% of all human-caused climate change worldwide, but 26 non-EU countries are campaigning against EU aviation carbon caps. If they succeed, they will destroy a critical mechanism in the battle against global warming.

SAN JOSÉ – It was once said of the battle to fight climate change that there is no silver bullet – there is only silver buckshot. But, while political leaders have been loaded for bear when it comes to many industries, they have thus far been unable or unwilling to take aim at the impact of aviation.

Little has been done to make the aviation industry pay for its negative effect on the environment. It is largely exempt from fuel tax, and it is not charged for the impact of its carbon-dioxide emissions on climate change.

Yet, according to a report published by the International Panel on Climate Change, the airline industry is responsible for 4.9% of all human-caused global warming worldwide. That figure is high, and it is growing rapidly. Airlines’ CO2 emissions rose by 11.2% from 2005 to 2010, despite a severe global recession during this period.

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