Browse by topic: Aviation, Climate Change and Energy


EU concedes on global aviation emissions reduction

The EU has proposed a compromise on applying its Emissions Trading System to all international flights involving EU airports. The compromise has been offered in the hope that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will take more ambitious action to decide to develop and implement a global market-based measure to reduce emissions from international aviation. Environmental organisations criticised the move as conceding too much in return for no guarantee of a meaningful outcome at ICAO’s triennial assembly, which runs until 4 October.

Global deal or no deal? Your free guide to the ICAO Assembly

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 The International Civil Aviation Organisation's 38th triennial Assembly meets in Montreal from 24 September to 4 October 2013. The Organisation is facing its biggest test so far to fulfil a 16-year old obligation under the Kyoto Protocol to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. Having turned down the option of implementing a global emissions trading system in 2004, this Assembly is being asked nearly a decade later to commit to a process towards an as yet vaguely defined global measure with unclear environmental impacts which would not take effect until 2020. This guide explains the history of ICAO's inaction, the current state of play, and what environmental NGOs believe the Organisation should to do address rising emissions from international aviation. 

ICSA documents submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation

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ICSA, the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, has observer status at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), where it represents environmental NGOs and civil society. T&E is a founding member. ICSA has submitted several working papers to the Organisation in order to help convince states and industry at the 38th ICAO triennial Assembly of the urgent need for action to develop and implement by 2016 a market based measure that will be effective in reducing international aviation emissions.

Letter to the Commission on ICAO Assembly

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This letter was sent to Mr Barroso, Mr Kallas and Ms Hedegaard by leading NGOs working on reducing the climate impact of international aviation. In it they express the grave concerns of NGOs at developments in the run-up to the ICAO Assembly, and suggest possible ways forward.

T&E response to Commission consultation on ICAO assembly

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In June 2013, the European Commission launched a consultation on the policy options for market-based measures to reduce the climate-change impact from international aviation. The consultation seeks input on questions concerning the policy options currently being developed on the international level at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and to obtain stakeholder views on options to reduce the administrative effort for small aircraft operators under the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). A new scientific report recently released highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation. T&E's response to the consultation is below.

Airlines fly through tax loopholes while burning up planet

This article was first published by the Huffington Post. Flying is often the cheapest, quickest and most convenient way to get to that beach, city break or weekend away. Unfortunately it's also the cheapest and quickest way to heat the planet!

Immediate global action needed to reduce aviation climate impact - Report

A new scientific report released today highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation.  With a decision expected shortly on how and when to tackle international aviation emissions, this new report increases the pressure on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) not to defer a decision on the adoption of a market-based measure (MBM).

Tax havens in the sky

This article was first published, in abridged form, by Ethical Consumer. If global aviation emissions were a country, it would be ranked 7th in the list of global emitters, between Germany and South Korea. Yet aviation is the only means of transportation that doesn't pay a penny of tax on the fuel it burns. This is an unfair advantage that airlines have over trains, coaches and cars, making it the fastest growing form of transport while also being the most carbon intensive. All of this is to the benefit of rich chaps, as, contrary to common public myth about low cost flights, air travel is one of the least democratic forms of moving from A to B. 

Aviation ETS: a meaningful future?

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The one year pause for aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) has intensified international debate on finding a global emissions deal for aviation. This pause will finish at the end of the year and aviation in the ETS will revert to full enforcement next January. Some countries, led by the US, are pressing for any future scope to be limited to “EU airspace”, which would be environmentally ineffective and unacceptable. If the ETS is to be amended, it should be on the basis of maximum coverage of emissions generated by international flights. The most promising option to keep an environmentally sound ETS while addressing the concerns of other countries is for the EU to regulate extra-European flights on a 50/50 basis: the first 50% of any departing flight and the last 50% of any arriving flight. This, and the other options on the table, are fully explained in the briefing below.The various options available to the EU will be debated at a roundtable event in the European Parliament on September 4th. For more information about the event, see here:

Greener Flights: Grounded?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 19:30 to 21:30
European Parliament
Salon Privé
1047 Brussels

Dr. Peter Liese MEP invites you to join him for an evening roundtable on the future of aviation in the ETS. This event will examine the possible options to ‘restart the clock’: reinstatement of the full ETS, reduction to departing flights only (including the 50/50 option) or scope curtailed to regional airspace, as the US and others insist. Confirmed speakers:Dr. Peter Liese, European ParliamentJos Delbeke, European CommissionMinister-Counsellor Mr. LI Song, Chinese Mission to the EUPaul Steele, International Air Transport Association (IATA)Bill Hemmings, Transport & Environment