Sunday, October 08, 2017

Carbon offset scheme to clip the wings of aviation industry

Chennai:  Will the carbon reduction plan mooted by International Air Transport Association (IATA) strangle the Indian aviation sector? As the association is marking the first anniversary of the historic global agreement, Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the aviation industry here is cautious on signing the treaty, which, while aiming to curb emissions, could have a serious impact on the sector that is waiting at the cusp of a revolution.

The agreement, signed at the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), is an initiative to reduce carbon footprint by airlines. Under this, the average level of carbon dioxide emissions and international aviation covered between 2019 and 2020 will be taken as the base carbon neutral growth figure, against which emissions will in future be compared. It is this base year that the aviation insiders have concerns.

Consider this: In 2016, India had 100 million domestic passengers and became the third biggest market in terms of domestic passenger volume (Source: Capa Centre of Aviation, Sydney). But these figures are deceptive. Japan, which was pushed to fourth in this ranking, had 97 million passengers for a population of 127 million, while only 100 million (less than eight per cent) of Indians flew out of nearly 130 crore population. For another comparison, Heathrow airport, London, alone, had 70 million domestic passengers in 2015 (Source: Eurostat, the statistical office of EU).
08/10/17 C Shivakumar/New Indian Express