New analysis underlines that aviation’s climate impact is far worse than widely claimed
New analysis for the European Commission underlines that aviation’s climate impact is far worse than widely claimed. Despite this, the European Commission is not proposing any meaningful action within the next few years. Campaigners demand a sustained reduction of air traffic and a just transition.
Last week, 33 NGOs have sent an open letter to the three EU institutions’s presidents, urging them not to waste time in the fight to prevent climate-damaging emissions from aviation. This follows recent analysis for the European Commission, which concludes that air traffic has three times the climate impact in relation to its CO2 emissions alone.
The undersigning organisations, among them Stay Grounded, Greenpeace, CAN Europe and Transport & Environment, demand that immediate political action must follow to mitigate aviation’s total climate impact. The most effective way to do so is to ensure air travel is reduced and does not return to pre-COVID levels.
Magdalena Heuwieser, spokesperson of Stay Grounded, a global network of 170 organisations that aims for a climate-just transport system said -
This analysis underlines what we have been warning about for a long time: air traffic is three times as bad for the climate as its CO2 emissions alone. The EU must now take action and address the full climate impact of air traffic! It must not be pushed back to pre-pandemic levels with costly subsidies
The analysis produced by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) acknowledges that aviation’s impact on the climate is approximately three times that of CO2 alone: non-CO2 impacts, mainly those of contrail cirrus and NOx, are overall twice as bad for the climate as those of CO2. “It’s worrying that in its report to Parliament and Council, the EU Commission is watering down the message of the scientific analysis and postponing necessary action. Measures must not be taken in five to eight years, as the Commission proposes, but today!” says Heuwieser. On December 9th, the EU Commission will release a strategy for “smart and sustainable mobility”. The organisations demand that effective measures to reduce aviation’s total climate impact must be included in this strategy.
In their letter, the NGOs demand three steps:
The open letter was signed by: Stay Grounded, Greenpeace, CAN Europe (Climate Action Network), Transport & Environment, Carbon Market Watch, Germanwatch, Ecologistas en Acción, Milieu Defensie, Réseau Action Climat, NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark, UECNA (European Union Against Aircraft Nuisance), UFCNA (Union Francaise Contre les Nuisance des Aéronefs), Natuur & Milieu, Robin Wood, Zaļā brīvība, Schipholwatch, Am Boden bleiben, Aterra, Periskop, Umanotera, Erasmus by Train, Protect Our Winters Europe, Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement, Airport Watch, Zomer Zonder Vliegen, BAW Fluglaermschutz Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein, Safe Landing, AbibiNsroma Foundation, Alofa Tuvalu, cBalance solutions hub, 350 Seattle, Flight Free Australia, Flight Free Germany, Coordination of Indigenous Peoples and Organisations Eastern Mexico State CPOOEM