Airlines Lobby for Fatality Allowance in EU ETS

Fatal plane crashes may reduce the Carbon impact of air travel

Brussels – This week The American Airline lobby announced its innovative plan for the inclusion of fatal commercial airline incidences in the EU ETS as a means of generating additional ETS allowances for the responsible operator.

The European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) will include aviation starting in 2012. Airlines will have to surrender one ETS allowance per tonne of CO2 emitted on flights both in to and out from (and within) the EU. This applies to all commercial and non-commercial flights and applies no matter where an operator is based. 

Airlines, particularly those not based in the EU have been fighting against this inclusion since 2010, but the Commission has maintained that it will continue with the plans as previously set out.  However, airlines have now taken a decidedly new approach to the allowance system.  They are calling for the distribution of additional allowances in case of fatal incidences.  Ben Aker, a spokesperson for the American Airline lobby explains in more detail:

                “We reviewed the impact the average human has on the environment during their lifetime and concluded that in fact, the removal of a single human being from the planet can have significant CO2 reducing impacts”

In the Carbon for Carbon Plan, published by the lobby, a simple equation based on the nationality of the expired passenger is used to calculate the number of allowances to be generated per death following an airline crash.

Number of allowances per fatality:

(Ex – D) x (Cx)

Ex = Expected average life expectancy in country X

D = Age at death

Cx = Annual tonnes of CO2 per capita country X

Aker noted, “While we do all we can to ensure air travel safety, these types of tragedies do occur and it would only be fair for the EU ETS to capture the future Carbon savings associated with the losses of life that may occur in commercial airline crashes.”

The Commission will review the submitted plans and stated on its website that a decision would be made by early Autumn.


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