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IPPR: Plane Trading – policies for reducing the climate change effects of international aviation

Aviation is the fastest growing source of transport greenhouse gases, although it is still small in proportion to others. Yet emissions from international flights are not controlled by the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and there are no policy instruments directly addressing the problem.In assessing the policy options, we argue that five key criteria must be addressed. The policy must be environmentally effective, economically efficient and technically and administratively feasible. The effects of equity and competitiveness must be examined and the policy should reflect or move towards the polluter pays principle.


Executive Summary

Aviation is the fastest growing source of transport greenhouse gases, although it is still small in proportion to others. Yet emissions from international flights are not controlled by the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and there are no policy instruments directly addressing the problem. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is now developing policy options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. It is expected to report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the autumn of 2001. The European Commission (EC) is also reviewing its environmental policies in relation to aviation and the UK Government will produce a White Paper on aviation in the next two years. In this context, this report reviews the current proposals and concentrates in particular on market based options: levies and emissions trading.In assessing the policy options, we argue that five key criteria must be addressed. The policy must be environmentally effective, economically efficient and technically and administratively feasible. The effects of equity and competitiveness must be examined and the policy should reflect or move towards the polluter pays principle.Bearing these issues in mind, the current proposals for a voluntary agreement to improve fuel efficiency of aircraft would be a welcome development, but not a proportionate response to the seriousness and urgency of climate change. Our report therefore focuses on market based options. There are no definitive solutions because of the scientific and political complexities of reducing the climate change impacts of international aviation. Rather, the purpose of this report is intended to present possible policy proposals that stimulate further debate.Download IPPR Plane Trading SummaryLink to the IPPR website