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Qatar and Finnair join green airline network

Qatar and Finnair join green airline network

Aviation Global Deal Group pushes for a global industry-specific cap-and-trade system

Two new international airlines have joined an industry group that aims to develop a global policy for tackling aviation emissions.

Finnair and Qatar Airways have announced that they are joining the Aviation Global Deal (AGD) Group alongside Air France, KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, airport operator BAA and NGO The Climate Group.

Last month the group lobbied UN officials for an international industry specific 'cap-and-trade' system for airlines, and say their proposals were well received.

Airline emissions have already been included in the EU emissions trading scheme from 2012, but only for flights landing in Europe.

But Finnair's vice president for sustainable development, Kati Ihamäki, said any emissions trading deal needed to be global.

"A deal covering only certain airlines or certain geographical areas distorts competition and potentially encourages less eco-efficient operating procedures such as intermediate landings in non-optimal locations outside the emissions trading area," he said.

The AGD Group's proposal is intended to support the work of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which has been tasked by governments with finding solutions to tackling aviation emissions.

Airlines are estimated to produce around 2 per cent of the world's CO2 emissions. Some, including Japan Airlines, Air New Zealand, and Continental have all been testing Jatropha-based biofuels in an effort to reduce emissions.

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