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Brussels conference brings together key players in agreeing a global aviation emissions policy

With the Government’s draft policy on aviation due next month, interest in UK airports policy has remained high during the past fortnight. Tim met with Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle, together with WWF, to discuss our joint work on UK airport capacity, and both Tim and Nic presented on the subject of UK aviation in academic contexts. Tim spoke at the Airports and Environment short course at Cranfield University (the only university in the world to run an English language masters course in airport planning and management), while Nic spoke at the seminar ‘Prospects for sustainable aviation in the UK’ at Essex University, as part of a series is looking at the sociological issues related to aviation policy and opposition to airport expansion.

We have continued to work on issues related the CAA’s environmental role. Tim and Cait met with researchers working on behalf of the regulator to better understand how the organisation is perceived and how effective it is, and Cait has been preparing a briefing on Civil Aviation Bill and how it should be improved. And with South East airports policy still in the news, we advised an MEP on the possible impact in terms of UK aviation emissions of building a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

Finally, while the media has been making the most of rumours that Chinese airlines will not comply with the demands of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, AEF, together with three other NGOs (Brussels-based T&E, and US organisations ICCT and the Environmental Defense Fund) put on an event in Brussels titled A New Flightplan to consider possible global measures for controlling aircraft emissions. Hosted by the Norwegian ‘Mission’ to the EU in Brussels (which represents Norway’s government on EU-related issues), the event attracted delegates from around the world who heard presentations from, among others, Jos Delbeke (Europe’s top climate official), Jon Strand (a World Bank economist) and Thomas White (deputy head of the US Mission to the EU).