EU Aviation Carbon Emissions to Decline in 2013, New Energy Says

Greenhouse-gas emissions from flights within Europe will probably fall this year as airlines renew fleets with fuel-efficient aircraft and pack planes more tightly, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Airlines’ carbon dioxide emissions within the European Union probably fell 2 million metric tons, or 3 percent, last year to 64 million tons, Itamar Orlandi, a New Energy analyst in London, said by e-mail. Emissions may decline another 1 million tons this year as high oil prices curb demand, he said.

Flight activity in Europe probably fell 1.5 percent in 2012, Orlandi said. “Carbon efficiency gains from ongoing fleet improvements are helping to reduce emissions further.”

EasyJet Plc’s load factor, a measure of occupancy, rose to

88.9 percent in 2012 from 87.5 percent a year earlier as Europe’s second-largest budget airline boosted passenger numbers to 59.2 million. Ryanair Holdings Plc, the top discount carrier, said in January that it was grounding 80 planes until March amid high oil prices and seasonally weaker demand.

Carriers including British Airways, EasyJet and Emirates Airlines have been pushing plane makers Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. to develop more efficient aircraft to trim jet kerosene costs, one of the highest expenses for an airline.

Under the European Union’s emissions trading system, airlines must hold a permit for each ton of carbon dioxide they produce within the region. For flights covered by the program last year, emissions were probably 15 million tons, or 31 percent, more than the 49 million tons of free carbon allowances allocated to the aviation industry, Orlandi said.

The 27-nation EU was forced in November to back down on a decision to include all flights in its carbon trading system after opposition from countries including the U.S., China and Russia.

EU carbon permits for December have plunged 28 percent this year. They rose 5.5 percent today to 4.83 euros ($6.51) a ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.