Norway outlines measures to achieve zero growth in aviation emissions by 2020
(photo: Trond Isaksen / Oslo Airport)
Fri 15 Feb 2008 – Norwegian aviation industry and research bodies have presented a report outlining 50 measures to halt their country’s increase in aviation GHG emissions. The aim is to neutralise a potential growth of more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from all traffic and, due to a lower projected growth in the domestic market, a 10-20 per cent reduction in domestic emissions. Another goal is to reduce GHG emissions from airport operations by 10-20 per cent by 2020.
These are the main findings in the report compiled by Avinor, SAS Norge, Widerøe, Norwegian and the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries. The Institute of Transport Economics (TØI), Cicero – Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, and Asplan/VIAK contributed background material to the report. The project was headed by Avinor, which owns and operates 46 airports in Norway and is responsible for the country’s air traffic services.
According to TØI, air traffic at Norwegian airports will grow at an average annual rate of 2.8% until 2020, with growth in international traffic outstripping domestic. The annual growth of domestic traffic is expected to be 1.9% compared to 4.4% for international traffic. Because growth is expected to be strongest on long distance routes, TØI has estimated growth, measured in passenger kilometres, at 74%. This forecast established the baseline for the calculations made in the project.
Most of the 50 measures outlined have already been decided or under consideration. Technical and operational aviation-related procedures are expected to provide the largest contributions towards reducing emissions, in particular fleet modernization. Changes in the organization of airspace over southern Norway, new taxing measures, the Single European Sky and more ‘green’ and energy efficient landing and take-off procedures at a large number of airports should also make a considerable contribution, says the report.
Greenhouse gas emissions from airport operations are expected to be around 10-20% lower in 2020 compared to today, following the implementation of measures such as changing heat production, transition to more energy-efficient vehicles and the use of carbon-neutral fuels.
Oslo Airport has already taken a decision to offset emissions from its own activities by purchasing UN-approved emission rights and intends to declare its operations carbon-neutral. It is Avinor’s goal for all other Norwegian airports to reach carbon-neutral status no later than the 2008 financial year.
A number of measures are also to be carried out to stimulate increased public transport services to and from the largest airports, first and foremost in Bergen and Stavanger. Along with public transport initiatives and technological improvements in vehicle fleets, overall GHG emissions from transport services to airports should be 5-10% lower in 2020 than in 2007.
Based on the amount of aviation fuel sold, official statistics show aviation, including outbound international flights, accounted for 3.4% of the country’s total CO2 emissions in 2005, with civil domestic flights making up 1.7%.
An independent analysis on the social and economic importance of aviation in Norway found that the industry plays a very important role in regional development, globalization and social welfare. Only 26% of journeys and 6% of passenger kilometres are possible by alternative means of transport, concludes the analysis.
Although Norway is not one of the 27 States making up the European Union, it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and its aviation industry will be joining the EU Emissions Trading Scheme at the same time as the other States. Traffic forecasts in the report have taken this into account. A CO2 tax is already applied to domestic flights on a per litre of jet fuel consumed basis and the Norwegian government has yet to clarify what will happen to the tax when the ETS starts. There is also a smaller tax applied to airfares to compensate for landing and takeoff NOx emissions.
An English translation of the report will be available from March 4.