European Union introduce the new rule about to track Non-CO₂ Emissions

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European Union introduce the new rule about to track Non-CO₂ Emissions

Global airlines sent the secret letter to the European Union to weaken its proposed rules. These rules are related to track the system that affects climate change due to emission of hazardous gasses other than carbon dioxide  (CO₂),  such as the vapor trails planes leave behind. 

Airlines have faced criticism for contributing to climate change through CO₂ emissions, but the effects of other emissions, like aircraft condensation trails (contrails), nitrogen oxides, and sulfur, are less well-known or tracked.

The European Union introduced the new rule starting from January 2025. According to it, the European Union will require airlines to measure and report emissions from planes taking off within the EU, not just carbon dioxide but other emissions too.

The main leader of the airline industry group wrote a letter to the European Union.  In this letter he expresses the industry’s concern. He used to be in charge of British Airways and thinks the EU’s new rule is too strict.

He suggested that the EU should make this new rule optional for airlines and limit its focus to flights within the EU, instead of flights leaving Europe.

Due to this rule many airline leaders are worried. According to Walsh airline, “we can’t measure non-CO₂ emissions as precisely as we can measure CO₂”. He also mentioned that the modern way to measure the other emissions is not reliable enough. Due to this problem it is very difficult  to reduce or control emissions effectively.

According to him: “The proposal risks creating a regulatory burden that will require airlines to provide large amounts of data for all flights, with an insufficient potential for positive environmental impact.”

European airlines are required to report how much CO₂ they emit, and they have to pay a fee for emissions from flights within Europe.

The environmental group Transport & Environment said that the International Air Transport Association (Iata) is using the fact that science isn’t 100% certain to avoid revealing the complete environmental impact of flying.

Some flights such as Long-haul are on top of the table that cause climate disasters. This is due to a larger number of emissions other than CO₂. So, leaving airlines out of the plan to fix the problem wouldn’t make sense, the statement explained.

According to  Jo Dardenne, aviation director of Transport & Environment “ Non-CO₂ emissions were recognised as a climate problem 25 years ago. But with delay tactics such as these, airlines are attempting to kill off any action that would allow them to address the issue.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued a statement expressing its concern about the European Union’s initiative to track non-CO₂ emissions from aircraft. IATA argued that the scientific understanding of these emissions and their impact on the environment is still uncertain and rapidly changing. They referred to a recent publication by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which suggested that more precise data is needed to understand the real effects of non-CO₂ emissions from aviation before definitive measures are put in place.

IATA’s position reflects the airline industry’s caution in addressing the environmental impact of flying. The long-haul flights that produce substantial emissions should also be extra careful after the introduction of new rules. Now it is good for airline leaders to think about how to address emissions effectively while acknowledging the evolving nature of the underlying science.

Despite these reservations, there is a growing push to tackle aviation’s impact on climate change, with some calling for stronger measures to reduce emissions from flying. The EU’s monitoring program could be a first step, but IATA’s response indicates that airlines want more clarity and evidence before committing to significant changes in operations.

Research Staff

Research Staff

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