Airline Group Proactive On Aviation Emissions Plan

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Four airlines in conjunction with a British airports operator last week announced formation of the Aviation Global Deal Group (AGD), which supports a "fair and effective global policy solution" for aviation emissions not currently managed by any existing global agreements. Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic, along with the UK airport operator BAA, are seeking a plan that offers real "environmental benefits" enacted in a manner that is both operationally sensible and economically feasible. The group recognizes that the effort must seek to avoid unbalanced market impact so as to maintain fair competition between carriers. AGD's active participants are clearly aiming to alter the perception of commercial aviation as an emissions contributor and make it instead an active part of an emissions solution. The group hopes to offer effective realistic emissions solutions from inside the industry and seeks to recruit other airlines and industry players to the cause in offering a compelling plan. The United Nations climate summit will be held in Copenhagen in December and an agreement referred to as the "new climate deal" will be negotiated there.

Global CO2 emissions earn a 2-percent increase from international aviation, according to the IPCC, and were not included in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Speaking on behalf of AGD, Tony Tyler, CEO of Cathay Pacific, said, "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." AGD has already found an ally in The Climate Group, an international NGO working to develop a global climate agreement. Steve Howard, the Climate Group's CEO, said, "The launch of the AGD Group is an important and welcome step towards helping countries to agree an environmentally robust approach to the sector's international emissions."