Photo via Flight History
British Airways and Air France joined a group of other airlines and the largest airport operator in Europe to propose . . . a cap and trade system that would limit their own emissions? Indeed. According to Bloomberg, this coalition, called the Aviation Global Deal Group, is calling for a worldwide emissions limit to be set so they can help fight global warming. So what's going on here?As of now, airlines aren't subjected to any emissions limits—even in Europe, where a cap and trade system is already in place. The airlines are preempting talks about regulating emissions, since aviation is set to be included in the upcoming 2012 European Union regulations. By willingly initiating the conversation, perhaps the airlines believe they can negotiate a more favorable outcome.
The Aviation Global Deal Group's drafted proposal is a pretty straightforward carbon cap system: (from Bloomberg)
The companies said a global emissions target should be set through capping every carrier’s greenhouse-gas output. The emissions would be calculated based on a company’s annual purchases of fuel.
Companies that overshoot their targets would have to buy permits to pollute from businesses that emit less than their allocated amount, according to the proposal. A proportion of the permits would be auctioned, with the revenue going toward helping developing countries adapt to climate change and developing cleaner technology for air travel.
Shrewd business move? Sure. But it's yet another sign that companies are recognizing that environmental concerns—especially carbon emissions—are factoring more and more into their bottom lines.
In related news, poor countries have asked for an additional airline tax to help them cope with global warming adaptation.
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