Contentious meeting ends with small step forward
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The international aviation community last week took another small step toward capping greenhouse gas emissions by agreeing to develop a global market-based measure to cap international aviation’s carbon pollution at 2020 levels.
According to the EDF, if aviation were a country, it would rank among the world’s top ten largest emitters, and it is one of the fastest growing sources of global warming pollution.
“This is clearly an historic resolution, showing the leadership of both developed and developing country governments meeting at ICAO in driving to the first comprehensive agreement on climate change for any global sector,” said Paul Steele, executive director of the industry-wide Air Transport Action Group.
In a prepared statement, Steele said, “It represents significant progress. The aviation industry has been advocating for such a scheme since we developed the first global industry targets five years ago. We now have agreement on a global scheme and a timeline and the building blocks to deliver it.
“Importantly, the Resolution also highlights the significance of continued work on the so-called ‘basket of measures’, recognizing that a market-based measure is just one of a suite of important tools needed to reduce aviation emissions. New technology, more efficient operations and infrastructure improvements also need to be pursued – things the industry has been doing for many years.”
The resolution commits governments to develop a global market-based measure for aviation emissions from 2020, to be decided at the next ICAO assembly, scheduled for 2016. The next three years will be spent on technical discussions as states work on the design elements of such a scheme, including standards for the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions and the type of scheme to be implemented.
“These have been tough negotiations. The global politics and interests of 191 states had to be taken into account … we have seen the same struggles at the UN climate talks. But I am delighted to see that governments meeting at ICAO have managed to overcome their differences on these issues and reach agreement,” he said.
According to Petsonk, some deep differences remain about reconciling international requirements with national laws.
“An acrimonious vote on whether countries could bring aviation emissions under their national emissions trading system nearly caused the meeting to disintegrate,” she wrote in her blog.
“In the end delegates agreed 1) nations should seek the agreement of other nations before imposing their market-based measures on flights from those other nations; and 2) such national market-based measures should exempt flights to and from nations whose flag carriers hold less than 1% share of the global market, measured in “revenue-ton-kilometers.”
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Travel Tagged: | airline emissions, climate, Emissions trading, Environmental Defense Fund, global warming, ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organization