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Travel Health & Environment Watch.

Sep 17, 2007

EU lawmakers admit carbon trading is politically expedient. Members of the European Parliament admitted Sept. 12 that emissions trading may not be the best way to lower aviation emissions, but that public opinion is driving a push in that direction. U.K. MEP Brian Simpson said climate change is an emotional issue in the EU and "there is a perception, correct or incorrect...that the U.S. does not care about climate change." FAA environmental regulator Carl Burleson responded that the U.S. is committed to the issue but believes energies should be focused on research into alternative fuels. Sep 14, 2007

Under the EU's cap-and-trade scheme, companies are allowed to produce a certain amount of CO2, but if they exceed the limit they must buy costly emissions permits from firms that have cut their carbon output. EU airlines will become part of this system in 2011, but Brussels thinks any planes that land or take off in EU countries should be included by 2012. This regulation could seriously affect U.S. flights in and out of European countries. Sep 14, 2007

Air travel has become a lightning rod for people concerned about global warming, as recent protests at London Heathrow Airport clearly demonstrate. Media coverage was intense and more than 70 arrests were made. Still, analysts say that Europeans are not likely to fly less and will probably fly more. Industry groups point out that over time, advances in technology will lessen aviation's already small impact on Earth's climate. Sep 13, 2007

U.S. environmentalists turning eyes to aviation. The American airline industry has been largely ignored by environmental activists, unlike its European counterparts who were caught by surprise when a tide of anti-aviation sentiment swept through the Continent. There are signs that that may be about to change: "This shift in the European view toward aviation happened virtually overnight," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "We should not be so foolish as to presume that it can't happen here." Sep 11, 2007

Emissions trading scheme sparks debate between U.S., U.K.. U.K. officials are defending a plan by the EU to include airlines in emissions trading regulations, a stance that trade associations and the American government oppose. The Air Transport Association's Nancy Young says the cost of emissions trades could keep airlines from investing in cleaner technologies, which would better benefit the climate in the long run. Sep 11, 2007

Biofuels, championed for reducing energy reliance, boosting farm revenues and helping fight climate change, may in fact hurt the environment and push up food prices, a study suggested. In a report on the impact of biofuels, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said biofuels may "offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal". Sep 11, 2007

Ozone in plane cabins reacts with other compounds to create irritants. Authors of a new study published in Environmental Science and Technology say that the compounds aboard a passenger-filled plane react with ozone to create irritants including acetone, decanal and acetic acid. Some of the reacting compounds come from the seats and carpeting of the plane, but researchers say that more than half come from the passengers themselves, on their clothing, skin and hair. Sep 11, 2007

ZZ

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Date:Sep 17, 2007
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