ICAO is about to proclaim mission accomplished in its 20-year search to appear relevant in the fight against aviation climate change. An impressive list of ministers and notables has gathered in the organisation’s Montreal headquarters to help break out the champagne. Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, leading the EU delegation, summed up the aim: “To defend the deal on the table as the lowest common denominator, that is our target.”
National governments meeting in Montreal are nearing a deal to offset but not reduce carbon emissions from aircraft on a voluntary basis. Agreement at the UN’s aviation body ICAO is likely to be met with scepticism in Europe where in 2013 the EU agreed to roll back coverage of its emissions trading system from flights into and out of Europe. Ostensibly this was to give ICAO time to come up with something better.
After nearly 20 years of international negotiations, 191 countries are positioned to adopt a global market-based measure (GMBM) to address emissions growth from international aviation during a two-week aviation summit in Montreal from 27 September to 7 October, 2016.
Today’s ruling by the WTO against the EU on subsidies to Airbus, and an expected similar ruling on Boeing, officially adds another €20 billion or more to the already very long list of subsidies granted to the aviation sector, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said.
This report analyses the performance of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) for aviation for the stop-the-clock years 2013-2015 and concludes that the measure shows the potential to achieve emissions reductions at lower cost through trading allowances with stationary ETS sectors, but only if Europe addresses the oversupply of allowances within the overall ETS.
Today’s finding by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will regulate US greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft is an opportunity for bilateral action between America and the EU to reduce aviation’s growing climate impact, Transport & Environment has said. The Brussels-based sustainable transport group welcomed the EPA’s decision to set a CO2 standard that is “at least” equivalent to the one agreed at UN-level.
The overall direction for road transport in today’s leaked draft of the European Commission strategy for low-emission mobility has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E), though the sustainable transport group has urged stronger action on greenhouse gases from international aviation and shipping.
The Paris Agreement and the ICAO process to adopt effective climate measures are not separate. The Paris Agreement covers all anthropogenic emissions, sets out important principles on carbon markets, and sends a clear signal that the aviation sector must act. This document was produced by the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA)
An ETS with 85% free allowances, combined with the fuel tax and VAT exemptions, while charging buses and trains and thus distorting competition, is simply self-defeating. Member states and the European Commission vice-presidents must take responsibility for these failures and start to address aviation in a joined-up way, not via silos where directorates abrogate joint responsibility for addressing cross-cutting questions such as fuel tax, VAT or state-aid scandals. Non-CO2 emissions must be taken seriously and measures should be prepared.