Who’s job is it anyway

With the aviation industry set to double in size by 2020, concerns have been raised about it’s environmental impact. At present, aviation is responsible for approx. 3% of emissions, compared to 10% by private motorists. However as the industry grows, so will pollution, noise and harmful emissions. A contentious issue has been the immunity from tax on fuel enjoyed by the industry to date. The immunity is currently being challenged and many airlines are acknowledging that it is only a matter of time before the industry will be held responsible for its contribution to environmental degradation. As a result many of the major UK airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers eg BA, Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow, Airbus, have begun to collaborate on a strategy for sustainable aviation. http://www.sustainableaviation.co.uk. As part of this, many of these airlines favour an emissions trading scheme over fuel tax. It is argued by Micheal O Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, that the emissions scheme is punitive to growing airlines. Thus Ryanair has refused to join the sustainable development bandwagon and claims that the main contribution of the sustainable aviation group will be the reduction in emissions, as a result of the bankruptcy of these airlines. http://travel.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,7445,1511906,00.html?gusrc=rss Ryanair has grown substantially despite economic conditions during the last few years, the primary reason for this is it’s low cost strategy. The argument I would like to present is that the incentive for airlines to adopt sustainable development policies is counteracted by consumers voting with their wallets. Airlines, and businesses in general, will face an uphill battle to move towards sustainable development unless we as consumers undertake responsibility for our environment and the choices we make.

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Posted in climate change, energy, pollution, sustainable development
2 comments on “Who’s job is it anyway
  1. Jean-Francois Goubet says:

    Personnaly, I really don’t understant why Ryanair, on its sole decision, can stay away from sustainable development. I think that most government are afraid by the power of the growing corporation and are also suffering from treats coming from this companies such as employment delocalisation and others. Government should make decision and enforce poluters to either pay or act to reduce their level of pollution

  2. darragh2 says:

    I agree with Andrea that all too often we as consumers like to talk about our concerns, but fail to act upon those concers either. Obviously ryanair will never willingly comply with practices that will increase their costs. But if we know one thing about Michael O’Leary, it is that any increase in cost will be passed on directly to the consumer.
    Maybe the Government should introduce a fuel tax. Ryanair will increase their prices and blame the government. The consumers will complain about their increased cost of living and slam the Government. Then they may choose to pay up and ignore the reasons why fuel taxes are necessary, or start taking the issue of pollution and depletion of the planets resources a bit more seriously.

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