Industry and NGOs say Icao has lost control

June 15, 2009

Representatives of 15 governments have agreed a 'programme of action' that recommends a 'global aspirational goal' of cutting 2% per year in fuel consumption from international aircraft. NGOs say it is effectively a decision to do nothing.

The ‘programme’ comes from 15 ‘wise men’ appointed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), aimed at being aviation’s offer to December’s climate summit in Copenhagen.

T&E policy officer Bill Hemmings said: ‘If this is the result of nearly 12 years’ work since Kyoto, it does no service to efforts to fight climate change. Its biggest observation is that there is no consensus, either on what needs to be done nor even the the need to fight climate change. It is hopelessly inadequate for the purpose.’

The Icao programme came as T&E joined forces with 11 other environmental NGOs to suggest a way to to include emissions from international aviation and shipping in the global climate framework.

Greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation and shipping fuels account for nearly 10% of the climate problem, and are growing so rapidly that they could double or triple by 2050. But NGOs fear neither Icao nor the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will propose anything meaningful for Copenhagen, and comments from the chief executive of British Airways suggest even the aviation industry feels Icao has lost control.

In a factsheet published this month, the 12 NGOs say aviation and shipping should be given their own emissions reduction targets.

With much of the current deadlock centring on whether developing countries should have to do the same or less than developed nations, the NGOs suggest allocating revenues from emissions charges to third world nations.

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