How the aviation industry has lobbied to weaken and delay climate regulation

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24-7-2022

New research shows the aviation sector has emerged as one of the strongest opponents of climate policy in Europe.

While many industrial sectors are in the process of transformation in response to the EU’s strengthened climate agenda, the aviation sector has instead pursued a lobbying strategy to avoid effective regulation. The research further shows that many airlines have initiated extensive, climate-focused PR campaigns to deflect growing concern from governments and the public over the sector’s climate footprint. At the same time, the ten airlines covered by the study have accepted around €30bn in government bailouts since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.

The research highlights a threat to the EU’s climate targets if the aviation sector’s emissions are allowed to grow at pre-COVID-19 trajectories, with European GHG emissions from aviation more than doubling from 1990-2018. This is significant given the EU Commission will announce its key policies to decarbonize aviation as part of the European Green Deal in July 2021.

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