L  L  News & Industry Affairs / Environment

  L  Big increases in overseas flight prices to SA loom as EU, UK green taxes expand

August 8, 2022. Carin Smith for Fin24.com.

South African flight prices to Europe, the UK - and eventually the rest of the world - could climb by up to thousands of rands unless something is done to counteract the effects of various emissions taxes, an expert has warned.

The European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETC) system is currently only in force on flights within the EU, but the bloc is pushing to extend the system to cover all flights to or from EU destinations, or that route through EU airspace, regardless of where the flight originates or terminates. 
    From 2027, all countries have to participate in this Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Some countries - such as Botswana, Zambia and the UK - have chosen to already implement CORSIA, while SA are amongst the countries choosing not to do so yet. 
    This increasing global focus on aviation sustainability could put SA at a disadvantage and even favour east Africa as a more attractive hub for air traffic into the rest of the continent, says Dr Ian Cruickshank, environmental and wildlife specialist for the Aviation Association of Southern Africa (AASA).
    He expects the southern African region will be severely impacted by environmental regulations in the aviation industry based on flight distances. Flights to SA are about four hours longer than to Nairobi, for example, from Europe. Passengers will be taxed on the distances flown or amount of time their flights are generating carbon emissions. 
    But Cruickshank also foresees that, if the EU expands its ETS wider than just within its own borders, other countries could, in turn, take retaliatory action and add carbon taxes of their own.

Currently there is no CORSIA charge on international flights to and from SA, but after 2027 it would add to the cost of ticket prices.
Dr Ian Cruickshank, AASA Environmental and Wildlife Specialist

AASA has, therefore, called for a sustainability strategy for aviation in the southern African region to offset the impact of carbon taxes being imposed or which will likely be imposed in future. AASA is busy developing a holistic strategy to counter the threat of resultant higher ticket prices. It includes looking at the use of sustainable jet fuel...Read more...

  L  AASA Environmental Committee Virtual Meeting
July 26, 2022. 

Save the Date. AASA's Environmental Committee is hosting a Virtual Meeting on 26 July at 10am with Dr Ian Cruickshank . For more information email environment@aasa.za.net.

  L  ROUTES From Take Off to Touch Down: Video and Report 
January 18, 2022. 

Before 2015, there was very little awareness of wildlife trafficking via air transport among the aviation industry, but the formation of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership catalyzed a global response. At the end of six years of the Partnership we reflect upon its impact and explain how the industry is effectively equipped to help combat this crime.

The ROUTES Partnership has released a final overview report (The ROUTES Partnership: From Take Off to Touch Down) and summary video (see below) highlighting its main achievements across six years of implementation. The report focuses on four primary areas of impact:

  1.  Knowledge. ROUTES created the ROUTES Dashboard where users can filter wildlife trafficking in aviation data and investigate region or route-specific risk globally. This, alongside ROUTES’ six in-depth reports which detail trends of wildlife trafficking in aviation, provided the knowledge base necessary to prioritize and build an industry response.
  2.  Training. ROUTES built an extensive suite of training materials in multiple languages, which companies can adopt into their training programs, and conducted trainings in 20 countries across the world, sustained through e-learning programmes.
  3. Tools. In September 2021, in collaboration with Crime Stoppers International (CSI), ROUTES launched Wildlife Sentinel – an illegal wildlife trade anonymous reporting app for aviation staff. Reports are shared with law enforcement and can be used to address corruption. ROUTES also supported and coordinated the development of an algorithm to detect priority wildlife products in baggage screening x-ray systems.
  4.  Inspiration. ROUTES inspired industry champions: many companies committed to taking action by signing the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration (BPD), taking formal assessments of their wildlife trafficking prevention standards, and championing the cause by encouraging other businesses to step up. ROUTES also inspired the establishment of several cross-sectoral alliances and regional taskforces dedicated to combatting wildlife trafficking.

Key to ROUTES’ success was the bringing together of an array of different voices and expertise. The Core Team of ROUTES was made up of aviation organizations (Airports Council International (ACI) and International Air Transport Association (IATA)), NGOs (The Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), TRAFFIC, WWF) and government bodies (U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). As the lead for the Partnership, TRAFFIC is grateful to all those involved along the way, from the core partners to every airline, airport, and association that has spread awareness and taken action against wildlife trafficking.

“We must not squander ROUTES’ legacy - let’s build and scale from here. We have the knowledge and right approaches to make transport sector leadership the norm in preventing wildlife trafficking globally,” Crawford Allan, ROUTES Oversight, TRAFFIC.  Read the report.


  L  Combating the illegal trade of wildlife 
October, 2021. 

Transportation is the backbone of global trade, and traffic kers of wild animals and wildlife products rely heavily on the efficiency of air travel and cargo carriers to smuggle illicit goods. Companies from the transportation and logistics sector can play a critical role in identifying and strengthening key risk points in the supply chains, thereby helping to prevent wildlife trafficking.

Although the duty for capturing and prosecuting these criminals rests with national enforcement authorities, aviation staff can provide an important source of additional intelligence. Associations like International Air Transport Association (IATA)Airports Council International (ACI), and AASA, together with organizations like United for Wildlife (UfW), are working with many other aviation stakeholders to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife. ​​​​The USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership, which was operational in 2015-2021 and included ACI and IATA, has also developed a suite of resources to support wildlife trafficking prevention efforts in the air transport sector. Read more...

  L  ROUTES training links for AASA
March, 2021. 

To support the aviation sector, ROUTES has developed a range of training tools designed to enable companies to deliver training to their staff on combatting wildlife trafficking and can be used or adapted free of charge.

  L      2020

  L  Let's #EndWildlifeCrime                               October 15, 2020. IATAtv.


We need to protect wildlife for generations to come 

IATA is working with the aviation industry to support the work of enforcement agencies in combating the illegal trade in wildlife.​​​​ The aviation sector is proud to work with partners including ROUTES Partnership and United for Wildlife to combat illegal wildlife trafficking around the world. AASA supports the industry's initiatives to stop wildlife crime.  

  L  Rolls-Royce gears up to power African aviation’s emissions reduction target 
January 9, 2020. Michael Wakabi interviews Paul Stein for Business Daily.

Airlines are acquiring new aircraft with the latest technology to operate more efficiently and economically as well as more environmentally. The majority of players in Africa’s growing aviation industry have signed agreements to prioritise the protection of the environment. Read the original article...


  L  Destination: green airline bailouts 
May 7, 2020. Environment Journal.

Aviation has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus lockdowns. Brian O’Callaghan and Cameron Hepburn from the University of Oxford discuss why any government bailout must be conditional on meeting climate targets.

For airlines, the reckoning is no longer far away on the horizon. It’s now a jumbo jet meters from the runway, landing gear down. Without a sizeable external cash injection, many international airlines will follow Virgin Australia into insolvency within months, if not weeks. 
    Should governments bail airlines out? And if so, should any conditions be imposed, particularly in a world that requires rapid progress to net-zero emissions? 
    The uncertainty of COVID-19 and a pancession (pandemic-induced recession) of unknown duration...Read more...

  L  IATA is teaming up with XCHG to launch a carbon exchange platform 
January 31, 2020. Tracy Rucinski, The European.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is teaming up with a company to develop a carbon exchange platform where airlines, and passengers, can purchase offsets aimed at reducing the impact of air travel on the environment.
    The deal with Xpansiv CBL Holding Group (XCHG), a commodity exchange company, will provide a common marketplace called Aviation Carbon Exchange for eligible emission units, the two organisations said in a joint statement on Thursday. Read the original article...


  L  SAA pledges to fight illegal wildlife trafficking 
March 4, 2020. DefenceWeb

As the world commemorated World Wildlife Day on Tuesday, South African Airways (SAA) said it would help intensify the fight against the global illegal wildlife trafficking. As a new member of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES), the national carrier said it would work hard to reduce the trafficking seizure of 42% of wildlife animals checked in luggage, 4% hidden in passenger clothing, 23% in air flight, 4% in mail and 27% recorded as unknown.
   SAA employees are being trained in methods to detect wildlife smugglers and their activities and to report these to the relevant authorities, the carrier said.  
    USAID ROUTES said Africa is a significant source of smuggled live animals and wildlife products.  
    In 2019 more than 103 wildlife animals were seized in three countries across the African continent. Most commonly, air traffic of wildlife animals in the African skies involves the following:

  • Ivory moved from East Africa, through the Middle East, into Asia;
  • Rhino horn moved from Southern Africa, through East Africa and the Middle East, into Asia;
  • Pangolin scales moved from West Africa, through Europe, into Asia;
  • Tortoises moved from Madagascar, through East Africa, into Asia;
  • Abalone moved from Southern Africa straight to Asia; and
  • Nile crocodiles moved from the Horn of Africa into the Middle East. Read the original article...

  L      2019

  L  Aviation: Carbon emissions per passenger down 50% - IATA 

December 28, 2019. Carin Smith, Fin24.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently published information confirming that carbon emissions per passenger have declined by more than 50% since 1990.  
    Much of the improvement has occurred because the industry has achieved an annual fuel efficiency improvement of 2.3% over the period since 2009, some 0.8 percentage points ahead of target. This progress is a combination of investments in more efficient aircraft and operational efficiencies. Read the original article...

  L  Aviation industry applauds another CORSIA milestone
March 8, 2019. Tatiana Rokou, Travel Daily.  

Geneva – The aviation industry welcomed another significant milestone in the development of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). ICAO has established a technical advisory body to help determine which emissions offset units can be used for CORSIA compliance. Read the original article here...

  L      2018

 L        / Links & Articles


  L  I want to offset the carbon from my long-haul flight. What are my options?
November 17, 2019. Elizabeth Sleith for Sunday Times Travel news. 

Q. My daughter and I are going to London in January, and she would like to offset the carbon emissions from our flight in some way. Could you point us towards some organisation that can help us do this? 
A. Offsetting means calculating the amount of greenhouse gases that will be generated by your flight and then putting money into projects that will prevent or remove the same amount from the atmosphere elsewhere...Read the original article here...

  L  Airbus launches electric airplane race
February 8, 2019. www.bizcommunity.com   

Airbus has announced a global partnership with Air Race E, the world's first electric airplane race set to launch its inaugural series in 2020. 
    Airbus is the official founding Partner of Air Race E. The competition aims to drive the development and adoption of cleaner, faster, and more technologically advanced electric engines that can be applied to urban air mobility vehicles and, eventually, commercial aircraft. Read the original article here...

  L  Global climate action effort now counts over 250 airports
January 22, 2019. International Airport Review.  

259 airports are now actively engaged in addressing their impact on climate change, and 49 airport operators worldwide are carbon neutral, according to the Airports Council International. Airport Carbon AccreditationRead the original article here...


  L  Richard Branson: ‘Aviation can be carbon neutral sooner than we realise’
October 26, 2019. Gwyn Topham, The Observer. 

The relentlessly upbeat entrepreneur believes efficiency and electricity could stop airlines worsening the climate crisis. The climate emergency has enveloped aviation. British Airways recently pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and Branson says Virgin will do the same.
    In Branson’s view, “realistically, people are not going to stop flying – the most avid of marchers are going to fly. What’s critical is that we enable them to fly as environmentally friendly as possible.”  Read the original article... 

  L  Setting realistic targets for biofuel production in sub-Saharan Africa  
January 25, 2019. www.bizcommunity.com   

According to a new report from World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Understanding the sustainable aviation biofuel potential in sub-Saharan Africa, while there is a small but not insignificant potential for the production of sustainable biofuels in sub-Saharan Africa, this should be prioritised for the aviation industry. Read the original article here...