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India may soon join the European Union (EU) in efforts to reduce emissions from its aviation industry. The country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) earlier this month required that the civil aviation sector begin monitoring all carbon emissions from airports to create a national carbon inventory.

Air Quality

Will India Follow the EU in Capping Aviation Emissions?

India may soon join the European Union (EU) in efforts to reduce emissions from its aviation industry. The country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) earlier this month required that the civil aviation sector begin monitoring all carbon emissions from airports to create a national carbon inventory.

India may soon join the European Union (EU) in efforts to reduce emissions from its aviation industry. The country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) earlier this month required that the civil aviation sector begin monitoring all carbon emissions from airports to create a national carbon inventory.

The comprehensive order applies to any airport with more than 10,000 annual inbound our outbound flights and covers all domestic airlines as well as all airport operations, including ground transportation, power generation, and support equipment.

All airlines and airports will have to track their emissions over the course of 2011, and must submit the data to DGCA by January 2012. This data will then be used to estimate the total aviation industry’s carbon footprint, develop a national emission inventory for the Indian aviation sector, and potentially serve as a point of reference to reduce emissions in the future.

“This is a very basic exercise… it will help us analyze patterns of fuel and power consumption,” said a senior airport official. “Later we can devise methods to reduce emissions where it is required and is possible. The inventory will act as a reference point to cut down the release.”

Flights by foreign airlines in and out of India do not seem to be subject to the order, an important difference between Indian efforts and the EU’s aviation emissions reduction scheme, which includes all airlines regardless of nation of origin. Under the EU system, airlines would have to account for their emissions and participate in a permit trading system for every ton of CO2 they emit or face fines.

This may be the point of distinction for India, which has opposed the EU’s emissions reduction system and recently demanded it withdraw the carbon tax. India has asked its major airlines to refuse turning over emissions data to the EU, and estimated it would cost Indian carriers $57 million in 2012.

The EU’s system has proved quite controversial, with the U.S. and China also notably opposing the system as unfair and vowing not to comply. The EU has not backed down from its system, and began trading system operation on January 1st.  More than half of all European airports are participating in the system.

 
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Written By

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.

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