Jos Dings is the Director of T&E, the European Federation for Transport and Environment, the main environmental organisation focusing on the transport sector. T&E sees the application of the emissions trading scheme to aviation as a "failed opportunity".

T&E describes the inclusion of aviation in the ETS as a missed opportunity. Why?

In terms of environmental effectiveness, stricter emissions ceilings and a multiplier coefficient to take gases other than CO2 into account were important factors. We would also have liked to see the directive include a provision that only allows airlines to buy permits if they had first reduced their emissions to a certain level. All the impact studies show that the system as it stands will not be very effective. It will not lead to a significant reduction of emissions from the aviation industry. That is a fact. The proportion of reduction will not even reach a year's worth of emissions growth. Emissions from the aviation industry have risen by roughly 4% a year since the 1990s, and the inclusion of aviation in the ETS as it is designed will lead to only around a 3% cut in emissions, i.e. nine months of growth. That can only be seen as a very modest start to an environmental policy for aviation.

Is all that really useful? According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), aviation accounts for only 2% of global CO2 emissions...

Yes, but it also accounts for less than 1% of global GDP. Aviation is not the most important sector in the world and its contribution to climate change is much higher than its contribution to the economy. What is more, we dispute this figure of 2%. Three years ago, we analysed the studies available and...

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