According to data analyzed by Transport & Environment and Carbon Market Watch (CMW), three of the biggest recipients of airline bailouts were the three biggest airline emitters in 2019. Lufthansa, British Airways, and Air France were ranked the top three biggest climate polluters.
According to the Researchers Lufthansa was the most polluting airline, responsible for 19.11 Mt of CO2, this was then followed by British Airways who were responsible for 18.38Mt, and Air France who were responsible for 14.39 Mt.
The data also shows that these airlines do not pay for most of their pollution, with flights entering and exiting Europe currently exempt from the EU carbon market.
In the case of Lufthansa, British Airways, and Air France, the airlines do not pay anything for 77%, 86%, and 83% of their emissions, respectively.
Come June the EU Commission will decide if flights entering and exiting Europe should be brought under the EU emissions trading system (ETS). It will also propose a law requiring airlines to start using cleaner fuels such as e-kerosene.
‘Having spent the past 12 months pouring aid into these airlines, governments must switch course and focus on greening the sector. Airlines should be required to pay for emissions on all their flights, and to start using cleaner fuels, a third of the airline bailout is going to the three most polluting carriers.’Andrew Murphy, aviation director at T&E said.
Gilles Dufrasne, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch, added: ‘Corsia is simply a cheap excuse for the aviation sector to continue business as usual.
‘The EU should not stand for it and must resist industry pressure calling for the dismantling of the EU ETS. We must end the exemptions which airlines currently benefit from, including the free distribution of pollution permits. Replacing existing policies with Corsia would have the exact opposite effect.’
Lufthansa, British Airways, and Air France were the biggest recipients of airline bailouts during the Covid-19 pandemic and did not pay anything for 77%, 86%, and 83% of their emissions, respectively.