Maybe Tony Blair should have changed a few more light bulbs than just the one outside Downing Street, (see blog below), as Labour has admitted it will break a key election pledge to radically cut CO2 emissions. Although the target is a 20 per cent cut by 2010 – Labour has acknowledged emissions will only be reduced by 16 per cent.

There is also trouble for Labour on emissions as British Airways’ chief economist has admitted that emissions from aircraft will continue to grow, even if airlines join Europe’s emission trading scheme (ETS) which is designed to cut them. BA admitted that the aviation industry would simply buy emissions permits under the scheme to continue its expansion, whilst ground-based industries would carry the major burden of emission reduction.

BA’s admission adds weight to those people who argue that emissions trading will do nothing to make actual cutbacks in levels of aircraft emissions – the fastest-growing sector of all greenhouse gases. Therefore, the environment committee of the European Parliament is proposing the aviation industry has its own ETS scheme. The proposal will be voted on by the European parliament in Strasbourg this week.

Not surprisingly, BA is against it. So is BMI, the second biggest airline at Heathrow. Its chairman, Sir Michael Bishop, questions how much political will there is for including aviation in a separate ETS. “I’d like to see the politician who bans cheap air travel. There are no votes in that.”

Well that rules Blair out taking action on aircraft then.