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24 Apr 2020

Sandra Laville, The Guardian

Europe: NGOs call for binding environmental conditions to be linked to COVID-19 bailouts for airlines

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"Coronavirus: airlines seek €12.8bn in bailouts without environmental conditions attached", 22 April 2020

Airlines in Europe have applied for €12.8bn (£11.3bn) government support since the start of the coronavirus pandemic with no binding environmental conditions attached, according to an analysis of the sector’s bailout pleas...

By the time air travel came to a near halt in March, greenhouse gas emissions from the sector had reached record levels. But there are no binding environmental conditions being attached to any of the already agreed bailouts or future loans being sought.

The exception is in Austria, where the transport minister, Leonore Gewessler, responded to a request for public support by Austrian Airlines (part of the Lufthansa group) by saying any bailout should be linked to climate targets...

Faiza Oulahsen, from Greenpeace EU, said: Public bailouts must come with strict conditions to protect jobs and slash the aviation sector’s soaring contribution to climate breakdown.

“Any public funding should lay the foundation for a just and green transition for people and planet, with widespread investment in transport alternatives like trains. Governments must address both the economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis and the crisis we face in climate change.”

Part of the following timelines

COVID-19: New types of protest, advocacy & demands from business-focused HRDs & groups

Europe: Environmental conditions & job protection should be required for COVID-19 airline bailouts, say NGOs