Term Paper: European Union's New Emmissions Proposal on U

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¶ … European Union's New Emmissions Proposal on U.S.-Based Airlines

Study Structure

EU's Proposed Plans for the Aviation Industry

Stance Regarding the EU's Proposed Plans

How EU's Proposed Plans May Potentially Impact

EU Questions and Answers

Serious Long-Term Environmental Issues

Scientists Dispute

The Clearance

EU's Proposal

Northwest Airlines Plane Taking Off Figure 3: EU's Proposal - U.S. Objections

Northwest Airlines Plane Taking Off LIST of TABLES

Literature Summary on Climate Impacts

Impact of the European Union's New Emmissions Proposal on U.S.-Based Airlines

"By 2020, aviation emissions are forecast to more than double from present levels."

("FAQ on Aviation Emissions and Climate Change," 2008)

Background of the Problem

Emissions Reportedly Higher than Aircraft emissions are reportedly higher than those from certain entire sectors covered by the EU ETS. Contrary to reported successes by a number of other economical sectors to reduce emissions, unless countered, by 2012 emissions increases from flights from EU airports will negate more than one fourth of the 8% emission reduction the first 15 EU member states (EU-15) must achieve to attain their

Kyoto Protocol target. By 2020, as this study's introductory quote reflects, "aviation emissions are forecast to more than double from present levels." ("FAQ on Aviation Emissions and Climate Change," 2008) Until recently, no policies specifically addressing climate change required the aviation sector substantially contribute to reducing this contemporary controversial concern.

Research Question

This researcher contends this capstone paper which examines factors contributing to the contemporary controversial concern constitutes "a polished, proofread piece of writing" ("Guidelines for the Capstone Paper...," 2004) which purports to answer the following research question: Will the European Union's new emission proposal for the aviation industry adversely impact U.S. based airlines?

Statement of the Problem(s)

Concerns relating to the contention that the rapid growth in aviation emissions critically contribute to climate change reportedly prompted the European Commission (EC) to propose to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The following excerpt from HIS's publication, "FAQ on Aviation Emissions and Climate Change," points out a number of significant statistics and relates to the reported primary problem the EU purports.

Direct emissions from aviation account for about 3% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the European Union (EU). The large majority of these emissions comes from international flights - flights between two member states or between a member state and a non-EU country. This figure does not include indirect warming effects, such as those from nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, contrails and cirrus cloud effects. The overall impact is therefore higher. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that aviation's total impact is about two to four times higher than the effect of its past CO2 emissions alone. Recent EU research results indicate that this ratio may be somewhat smaller (around two times). None of these estimates take into account the uncertain but potentially very significant effects of cirrus clouds.

EU emissions from international aviation are increasing rapidly - by 87% since 1990 - as air travel becomes cheaper without its environmental costs being addressed. For example, someone flying from London to New York and back generates roughly the same level of emissions as the average person in the EU does by heating his home for a whole year. Emissions from all flights departing from EU airports exceed total verified emissions from activities covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in 19 of the 25 member states. Emissions from aviation are also higher than from certain entire sectors covered by the EU ETS - for example, refineries and steel production. ("FAQ on Aviation Emissions and Climate Change," 2008)

This study, albeit, addresses the opposing "problem" noted by governments of a number of nations, including the U.S., which challenge the European Union's proposal to include international aviation in its emissions trading system. The EU's proposed approach contradicts ICAO guidance, nations one challenging the EU's contention, insist. The EU argues that compared with a fuel tax or charge, and/or other alternatives, that including aviation in the EU ETS offers identical environmental benefit at lower costs to society, and/or a higher environmental benefit for comparable costs. EU supporters insist that for a given environmental improvement, the impact on ticket prices, airline companies and the overall economy will be less. The impact of the European Union's new emission proposal on U.S. based airlines, however, the United States contends, will negatively impact U.S. based airlines, as "the rules broke with international aviation practices, would cost companies billions of dollars and could lead to sharp increases in airline ticket prices." (Kanter, 2007) in addition, some environmentalists argue efforts proposed by the EU are not enough to effectively counter aviation's contributions to climate change. As this researcher explores various components contributing to the EU's controversial solutions proposed to counter aviation-related climate changes, information from both sides of the conflict is related to determine potential answers to this significant problem.

Significance of the Study

Due to its relevance to the global society today, this researcher purports this study to complement current concerns. In time, findings from this capstone project will prove to be a vital, viable contribution to future researchers and research projects, as well as, constitute a source of information to enlighten readers. As this study focuses on aviation in the global realm, it does not limit itself to any specific location.

The EPA reports that aviation-related climate changes, in terms of human health, can have an effect on the ozone, which "...can affect pulmonary and respiratory health." ("EPA to Revise Aircraft Engine Emission Standards," 2005) in regard to environmental risks, particulate matter (PM) can contribute to acid rain, visibility impairment, and crop damage, and acid rain. Determining whether the impact of the European Union's new emission proposal negatively impacts U.S. based airlines contributes additional insight and considerations relating to a contemporary issue that ultimately impacts individuals worldwide - in the air, both indoors and out.

Due to the significance of the problem(s) reportedly associated with aviation-related climate changes, "aircraft emission standards have a 30-year history in the U.S., with new emissions standards being set for different aspect of engines, including:"

1974: Engine smoke and fuel venting.

1984: Hydrocarbon emissions.

1997: NOx and carbon monoxide.

2005: Updated NOx emission standards (included in this rulemaking)." ("EPA to Revise Aircraft Engine Emission Standards," 2005)

Limitations of this Study

Limitations for this capstone project include time, expense and distance constraints.

A more in-depth study may have, in fact, evolved from more allotted time, along with an unlimited expense account for extensive travel in the U.S. And to Europe to interview experts regarding this study's problem. With resources at hand, however, this researcher contends that limitations of this study do not limit its dedicated efforts to thoroughly instigate its aforementioned research question.

Study Structure

This capstone project includes the following traditional chapters:

Literature Review



Discussion, Conclusions & Recommendations

The second chapter in this study presents the literature review which included assessing more than 30 sources to secure relevant sources of relevant information. Research primarily evolves from Web sites from Google and Highbeam's data bases. Along with purposefully sifting through resources to secure answers for the designated research question, this researcher also communicated with a pilot for personal thoughts regarding aircraft emissions.

The third chapter of this study relates the fact the Literature Research Methodology is utilized for this project's methodology.

Chapter four of this capstone project notes findings retrieved from analyzing information retrieved during the literature review. A number of figures are presented in chapter four.

This researcher reviews the scope of this research project during chapter five, and discusses conclusions and makes Recommendations. Findings relating to the results are also discussed in this chapter. In addition, this researcher assesses whether the research question, introduced at the start of this study, was answered.

During the next chapter, the literature review, this researcher presents the researched information, while simultaneously considering the following sub-questions:

What are the EU's proposed plans for the aviation industry?

Does the U.S. agree with or oppose the EU's proposed plans for the aviation industry?

How will the EU's proposed plans for the aviation industry potentially impact U.S. based airlines?


The governments of many nations, including the United States, oppose the European Union's proposal to unilaterally include international aviation in its emissions trading system because the proposed approach is not consistent with ICAO guidance."

Aviation and the Environment," 2008)

EU's Proposed Plans for the Aviation Industry

EU's Plans Contradict ICAO Guidelines roundtrip flight from London to New York reportedly produces approximately the same emissions an average EU family generates from heating their home one year. Despite such comparisons attempting to put the problem related to aircraft emissions, most member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will not accept nor adopt the European Union's plans to set up a separate, regional emissions trading system, according to Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of IATA. He argues, as the introductory quote for this literature review chapter notes, the trading system the EU imposes… [END OF PREVIEW]

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