Posted by: Tony Carson | 3 October, 2007

Air industry: no expansion without mitigation

Talk about a mixed message. On the one hand we are told that flying is a significant contributer to green house gas emissions and must be curtailed. On the other, we are told that the air industry wants to nearly double traffic between Canada and Europe.

This article EU agrees to start ‘open skies’ talks with Canada explains that an open skies agreement could add another 5 million passengers to the already 8.5 million passengers that currently flying between Canada and Europe each year, 42% of them to/from the UK.

Thus, with the embracing of open skies, all else being equal, we can expect green house gas emission from this one source to almost double.

Recently, we learned that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) decided to rejected the EU proposals to establish specific measurable targets in order to cut carbon emissions (The don’t ask, don’t tell approach to Global Warming).

Now we learn that the air industry wants to add a new target: the near doubling of traffic.

It is stunning how good industry is at setting targets for expansion but unless its with lay-offs, they’ve never been very good at setting targets for contractions.

We either have a global warming problem or we don’t.

If we do, the message coming from expanding polluting industries must include the means it will employ to dealing with its planet-destroying problem. Expansion without mitigation should be halted dead in its tracks.



  1. Global Warming is not on NavCanada or their EU counterpart’s agenda, so it isn’t their message. The issue at stake for them is the increased revenue that every flight brings. For example, every jumbo that flies over Canada pays thousands for the rights to do so, and thats without touching the ground.

    So I certainly understand why this deal is big for them. However, global warming is happening and each of those planes that fly should pay more, not less, and pay intp green taxes. There is a story there, and an inevitable future. The EU side of the bargain is probably quite temporary, as pressure in Europe over green issues is much heavier.

    One day, we hope Canada will follow. It seems that now, having so much nature means you take it for granted.

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