Business aviation associations want global accord
By Anne Eckstein | Tuesday 19 June 2012
Several national business aviation associations and their international representative body, IBAC (International Business Aviation Council), gathered at a yearly event organised by the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA), called on the sector to actively work towards reaching an international agreement on the air transport sector’s contribution to fighting global warming.
Fabio Gamba, CEO of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), set out the European perspective, emphasising that he shared the audience’s frustration over the EU Emission Trading Scheme’s many flaws. He particularly insisted on the discriminatory treatment of business aviation, not only in the distinction made in the directive between commercial and non-commercial operators and how the de minimis rule is applied, but also in the system’s cost ineffectiveness and its focus on punishing CO
2 emitters instead of encouraging their efforts dedicated to improving the industry’s carbon footprint.
Gamba said: “There’s no denying that aviation emissions will grow over time despite the sector’s constant technological and operational improvements and its formal long-term commitment to reducing the impact of aviation on the environment. And although business aviation emits less than 2% of air transport emissions – and less than 0.04% of total man-made emissions – we confirm our sector’s role in helping to combat global warming”. Gamba added that the sector has already “recognised the role of interim global market-based measures to foster the fulfilment of our three long-term targets, namely 1. carbon-neutral growth by 2020; 2. improvement in fuel efficiency of an average 2% per year until 2020; and 3. an absolute reduction of 50% (based on 2005) of CO
2 emissions. However, we believe the time has now come to define what these measures should be”.
Don Spruston, director-general of IBAC, also cautioned that resistance to the EU ETS could lead to retaliation that would harm all parties. “We understand the frustration that unilateralism and badly crafted legislation can generate,” he added, “but we also note, importantly, that the European Commission has agreed to abandon its scheme if and when a global agreement on an aviation climate change programme is sealed. This is an opportunity we want to seize”.
The EBAA, the IBAC and the CBAA are thus calling for the establishment of such an agreement, under the aegis of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Sam Barone, president & CEO of CBAA, concluded that the ETS had triggered discussions at a global level which should provide a much needed push to reach a global solution.