‘Polluter Pays’ is the Only Principle That Can Limit Aviation Emissions

We cannot accept threats of all kinds of trouble just because a small price has to be paid for the pollution caused by travel


Why all the fuss about aviation? Why has Europe passed its own laws to make airlines reduce their CO2 emissions? And why don’t we have international rules for an international sector?

It’s right to ask these questions. The answers are important, too. Since 1997 we have been working to achieve an international agreement in this sector. No one can doubt that this will be the best way forward for this truly international sector.

Despite work and pressure from the EU, states in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have not yet agreed on a global solution to limit aviation emissions. No one has fought harder than the EU to find a global solution – and we are still trying to reach agreement.

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.