Air travel CO2 causes severe damage

Passengers queue at London's Heathrow airport.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: A stark warning today about the environmental impact of aviation.
A panel of experts advising the British government on climate change says air travel will cause severe damage unless it's curbed. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The Climate Change Committee says if the aviation industry's carbon emissions continue to grow unchecked, they'll represent 20 percent of global emissions by the middle of the century. The Committee says alternative technologies seem unlikely to solve the problem, biofuels may not be the answer, and electric planes seem a distant dream.

Committee Chairman David Kennedy says air travel will, over time, have to be restricted by international agreement:

David Kennedy: We're saying aviation at the moment is not playing its part globally . It should be part of a global agreement because aviation emissions are significiant and damaging and could take us off track.

He wants the British government to press for a global deal to cap the aviation industry's carbon emissions at the U.N. summit in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

His report is embarrassing for the British government. Environmental campaigners say his message contradicts the decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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