House Panel Probes Aviation Emissions

 - April 3, 2008, 11:59 AM

When Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, suggested yesterday that the FAA’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were “tangential” to other agency objectives, Daniel Elwell, assistant administrator for the FAA office of aviation policy, planning and environment, politely begged to differ. Elwell told the committee that between 2000 and 2006 aviation carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. declined by about 4 percent, while during the same period aviation carbon dioxide emissions in Europe increased by around 30 percent. And according to Thomas Windmuller, senior v-p of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the European Union’s emissions trading scheme “is green in name only.” He said IATA seeks to improve fuel efficiency by 25 percent by 2020, but the U.S. Air Transport Association has an “even tougher target” of 30 percent by 2025. “Their leadership will serve as an example to the rest of the world,” Windmuller said.