Business & General Aviation Carbon

Balancing Scheme Airplane Logo

The following text is extracted from a paper produced by the British Business and General Aviation Association:

Barely a day passes without a story linking aviation to global warming appearing in the mainstream media - the attention aviation gets is undoubtedly unfair, after all the Stern Report, so often quoted by politicians, notes that aviation is responsible for just 1.6% of total greenhouse emissions. Business and General Aviation are responsible for at most 1% of that 1.6% (i.e. 0.016% of total emissions). We are not major contributors to climate change. The UK General Aviation fleet uses a similar level of fuel annually to that used by motor traffic during one London rush hour. EU-flagged shipping emits considerably more CO2 than EU aviation. We are not major contributors to climate change. However, the disproportionate attention given to aviation in the environmental debate does not alter the fact that aviation, like all industries, needs to ensure it meets its environmental obligations. The Business and General Aviation sector has a good record here; we operate a fleet with generally new aircraft that are as clean and efficient as present technology allows; the International Business Aviation Council is producing excellent operational advice to further improve performance. Economically, the UK CAA reports Business and General Aviation to have an economic worth of roughly 8% of the airlines, yet we account for only 1% of aviation emissions.

As a sector of aviation, we realise we have to go further; politically and morally we need to minimise our impact on the environment; but aviation is one of the only industries that has no alternative to using fossil fuels today. Bio fuel may provide some alleviation, but until the next Frank Whittle provides a new generation of propulsion, we have to make sure we are doing more to ensure aviation becomes seen as "Green". It was with this in mind that the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) created the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme. This initiative, launched in March 2007, has a simple aim; to make the entire sector carbon neutral. Many leading companies have this goal but we believe it is unique for an entire sector to do so: the scheme has been welcomed by the former UK Aviation Minister Gillian Merron who was "..impressed by the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme - they're ahead of the game, and a good example .."

Carbon Offsetting does not have a good image; mainly due to forestry based schemes with insufficient additionality (making saving beyond that which would have occurred anyway) and without independent verification. The BBGA Scheme uses only independently verified projects and therefore the risk to an operator is reduced and the environmental benefits increased. All projects will either be UN certified or meet the "Gold Standard"; increasingly recognised as the benchmark for offsetting. Because Business and General Aviation operates on a whole aircraft basis our administration is simple - we don't have to apportion emissions to passengers. We simply use fuel burn and then create a portfolio for the operator using projects that appeal to them; for instance a company with links to Brazil may wish to balance by providing fuel switching technology to a Brazilian village, allowing methane captured from decaying waste to provide power. Depending on the portfolio chosen the cost will be less than 2 pence per litre of fuel. BBGA will fully administer the scheme allowing operators to meet their environmental obligations without bureaucracy.

The issue of climate change is one for the world not just the UK and BBGA is therefore joining forces with our colleagues across Europe to roll out the Carbon Balancing scheme to a wider operator base; indeed we hope to propose the scheme as a means of compliance with the goals of the EU Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme. Business and General Aviation creates value, it creates jobs and it does so for minimal environmental impact; the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme enables us to do even more; to aim for a carbon neutral sector driving a sustainable economy.

Oxford airport will actively promote the BBGA scheme to its residents and base operators and any new companies that establish aircraft operations at Oxford.

For further details on the scheme contact:

British Business and
GeneralAviation Association

19 Church Street
Brill, Aylesbury
HP18 9RT

Telephone: +44 (0) 1844 238020
Fax: +44 (0) 1844 238087
Email BBGA on:

Business and General Aviation’s Environmental Impact and the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme

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