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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 26-Mar-2020

Taiwan Taoyuan Airport third runway project EIA receives approval

Incheon Airport Corporation awards electric bus contract to GS Global

Seoul Incheon Airport to award hydrogen fuel cell bus contract to Hyundai Motors

US Senators urge Congress to require airlines wanting financial aid to reduce carbon emissions

Azul: 'We are proud to be one [of the] handful airlines in the world that are profitable'

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

Taiwan Taoyuan Airport third runway project EIA receives approval

Taoyuan City Government announced (25-Mar-2020) Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport's third runway development project. [more - original PR - Chinese]

Original report: 機場第三跑道環評通過,市府將協助環保署嚴格監督降低環境衝擊

臺灣桃園國際機場第三跑道環境影響評估報告書,25日於行政院環保署召開的第373次環境影響評估審查委員會,桃園市副市長游建華率領本府相關局處首長參加,全案歷經2個半小時審查,環評委員最後裁定本案修正後通過。 

桃園市長鄭文燦表示,桃園航空城計畫對於提升台灣的國家競爭力有很大的幫助,桃園國際機場興建第三跑道,是其中的重要基礎建設,第三跑道可以大幅提升桃園國際機場營運量能,讓台灣作為亞洲的交通樞紐地位,更加鞏固。為了表達市府對於本案的重視程度,特請副市長游建華率領市府相關局處首長到場,爭取環評通過。而今日第三跑道環評案的通過,市府將與中央部會加快桃園航空城計畫的推展,落實此一國家重點建設。 

副市長游建華表示,桃機第三跑道開發案是國家大事,開發時對環境品質之影響,市府將協助環保署嚴格監督開發單位降低環境衝擊。 

環保局長呂理德表示,本次機場第三跑道環評通過,環保局會協助環保署負起監督的責任,除針對開發單位環境影響評估報告書之內容、承諾事項與審查結論實施情形等加強查核外,亦將要求開發單位做好環境保護,務求對環境衝擊降到最低,使民眾安心。如於開發過程中有嚴重影響環境之虞,將立即要求因應與改善,藉以達成環境保護之目的。

Incheon Airport Corporation awards electric bus contract to GS Global

Incheon International Airport Corporation reportedly awarded a KRW4.6 billion (USD3.7 million) electric bus contract to GS Global (EToday, 10-Mar-2020).

Seoul Incheon Airport to award hydrogen fuel cell bus contract to Hyundai Motors

Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) reportedly plans to award a contract for the supply of seven hydrogen fuel cell buses for use at Seoul Incheon International Airport to Hyundai Motors (Incheon Ilbo, 23-Mar-2020). As previously reported by CAPA, IIAC is developing a hydrogen filling station at Seoul Incheon to supply fuel for hydrogen buses, which it plans to deploy to transport passengers between terminal 1 and terminal 2.

US Senators urge Congress to require airlines wanting financial aid to reduce carbon emissions

US Senators Whitehouse, Heinrich, Merkley, Booker, Markey, Blumenthal, Smith and Stabenow issued (18-Mar-2020) a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leaders McCarthy, McConnell and Schumer, urging Congress to pair any financial assistance to companies experiencing losses from the coronavirus pandemic with requirements to act in a more environmentally "responsible fashion".

The senators said air travel "accounts for approximately 2.5% of total carbon dioxide emissions globally, and commercial aviation emissions are expected to triple by 2050", noting that "requiring reductions in carbon emissions would represent a major step in curbing our nation's greenhouse gas emissions".

They stated: "If we give the airline and cruise industries assistance without requiring them to be better environmental stewards, we would miss a major opportunity to combat climate change and ocean dumping". [more - original PR]

Original report: Whitehouse, Markey, Senate Democrats Request Requirements for Airlines and Cruise Lines to Address Pollution in Financial Assistance Package

Shrewd action to address current economic crisis may help prevent a future economic crisis caused by climate change

As Congress considers a massive bailout for industries affected by the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today called on congressional leaders to ensure any financial assistance for major airlines and foreign-flagged cruise lines includes reasonable environmental requirements to address pollution from these industries.  Taking action to address the world’s carbon footprint while shoring up the American economy during the current crisis would help prevent a future economic collapse that may be triggered by climate change if we don’t act soon.

“Given the large carbon footprint of commercial aviation, requiring reductions in carbon emissions would represent a major step in curbing our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.  Requiring reductions in carbon pollution from foreign-flagged cruise ships, as well as reductions in other air pollutants and increased penalties for illegal dumping, would result in cleaner air and a healthier ocean,” the Senators wrote in a letter to congressional leaders.  “Business leaders are themselves increasingly recognizing that their companies must make positive contributions to society or risk losing their social license.  This is particularly true when companies ask American taxpayers for financial assistance.”

Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis held a hearing just last week in which a panel of financial experts testified to the enormous risks climate change poses to the economy.

The world’s foremost economists and financial institutions are sounding increasingly forceful warnings about the link between climate inaction and financial instability.  In January, the CEO of Blackrock—the largest asset manager in the world—warned in an open letter to CEOs that “[c]limate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects,” and as a result “we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” one that is “compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance.”  Also in January, the Bank for International Settlements – known as the central bank of central banks – issued a report warning that “[c]limate change could … be the cause of the next systemic financial crisis.” 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                      The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Speaker                                                                       Majority Leader

United States House of Representatives                    United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510                                              Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer                               The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

Minority Leader                                                          Minority Leader

United States Senate                                                   United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20510                                              Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy:

A number of industries have stated that they intend to seek financial assistance from Congress for losses related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  For example, U.S. airlines announced that they are seeking $50 billion in financial assistance, or three times the size of the aid package they received after the September 11 attacks.[1]  President Trump has signaled that he intends to help other industries as well, including the cruise line industry.[2]

Given the poor environmental records of some companies in these industries, we believe that any such financial assistance should be paired with requirements that companies act in a more responsible fashion.  Air travel currently accounts for approximately 2.5 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions globally, and commercial aviation emissions are expected to triple by 2050.[3]  The foreign-flagged cruise industry has a checkered environmental record and most passenger liners burn heavy fuel oil, one of the dirtiest fuels.[4] 

Given the large carbon footprint of commercial aviation, requiring reductions in carbon emissions would represent a major step in curbing our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.  Requiring reductions in carbon pollution from foreign-flagged cruise ships, as well as reductions in other air pollutants and increased penalties for illegal dumping, would result in cleaner air and a healthier ocean. 

Business leaders are themselves increasingly recognizing that their companies must make positive contributions to society or risk losing their social license.[5]  This is particularly true when companies ask American taxpayers for financial assistance.

If we give the airline and cruise industries assistance without requiring them to be better environmental stewards, we would miss a major opportunity to combat climate change and ocean dumping.  At a recent hearing of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, several financial experts testified about the severe risks climate change poses to our economy.  In light of this, efforts to address carbon pollution make good financial and economic sense. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request, and we stand ready to assist you. 

Sincerely,

SHELDON WHITEHOUSE                                                  MARTIN HEINRICH

United States Senate                                                               United States Senate

JEFFREY A. MERKLEY                                                       CORY BOOKER

United States Senate                                                               United States Senate

EDWARD J. MARKEY                                                         RICHARD BLUMENTHAL

United States Senate                                                               United States Senate

TINA SMITH                                                                         DEBBIE STABENOW

United States Senate                                                               United States Senate

Azul: 'We are proud to be one [of the] handful airlines in the world that are profitable'

Azul CFO Alex Malfitani, in a conference call about the COVID-19 pandemic, commented (24-Mar-2020) on the sustainability of the carrier, stating: "You have to remember that there are a handful of airlines in the world that are profitable and sustainable and we're proud to be one of them. You kind of have to separate the wheat from the chaff".

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