Thursday, May 10, 2007

ALL ABOARD...

2.51 million flights are scheduled to depart worldwide this month, and the New Zealand Herald reports that "binge flying [is] killing the planet".

As the IPCC assessments have shown, we're far from immune from the impacts of climate change in NZ. The impact is of course partly economic. Our biggest tourism market has the yips: 18% of Aussies are considering not flying. Ever.

The Listener covered the potential impact on our tourism market back in March. In pointing out the polluting problems of flying, the author notes that "jets consume eight times the fuel that trains do travelling the same distance". But what about solutions?

Rather than bridging the Tasman, our tourism sector needs real answers. Air New Zealand have ordered a quick fix or three - a bunch of fuel efficient planes. But that's simply applying duct-tape to the problem.

The Listener mentions carbon offsets. Air New Zealand have "looked at, and discounted" offering these to customers, although customers can always buy direct from any of the multitude of providers.

Brian Fallow discusses polluter pays emissions trading (ETS) in the Herald this morning. He notes that there is no fuel or sales taxes imposed on any international flights (anywhere) and rightly sees that the NZ aviation market is ripe for being placed under the NZ ETS being considered by government. Hardly the environment for a new airline you'd think.

It's clear that New Zealand must future proof it's biggest export earner. Our tourism earnings will be flavoured by climate change policy. International visitors to our shores are more carbon aware by the day - our aviation industry's position in a national economy where carbon is priced is crucial.

3 comments:

乱七八糟 said...

I am China. Welcome to me the abundant guest to have a look theChinese landscape

mikeymike said...

...couldn't have said it better myself.

onebadhobbit said...

Trains! I have a good train story, could you post this on your blog, if at all possible...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBE8AN6IrBI

...not tha I want to be pollyanna about the end of the world, but this is the story of one part that hasn't ended, for now, and all through the eyes of quite a charming man.