Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reducing emissions at an airport near you

There was a full page ad in Monday's NY Times for the new Boeing 747-8 praising the aircraft's fuel efficient engines, and Lufthansa for buying a few.

The ad, if not the plane, seemed to represent a major shift. Not long ago, airlines and aircraft builders would highlight the only the comfort, the leg room, of new planes. Now it is all about marketing energy efficiency and re-branding (oh, I loathe that term, why not just call the public cattle?) your company as clean and green.

For the airlines, though, it will need to be about more than marketing. The Associated Press reports that airlines flying in Europe will be specifically included in a greenhouse gas emissions trading program. The European airlines have come out in favour of the decision, because it easier on them than the alternative, higher airline taxes. The program will apply to all internal flights beginning in 2011, and all flights in and out of Europe by 2012, thus influencing U.S. and other foreign carriers as well.

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