Last week’s deal reached at ICAO, the UN agency, to establish a global offsetting programme for aviation received a mixed response, yet it was heralded by industry and some policymakers as the dawn of sustainable aviation.
30 NGOs, from Austria and beyond, call on the Austrian authorities to respect a court ruling which blocked the planned expansion of Vienna Airport on the basis that it would violate Austria's domestic and international climate commitments. Aviation is the most carbon intensive modes of transport, and its continued growth undermines efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement
The European Commission published a damning study of carbon offsets, finding that 85% of the offset projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to date failed in the objective of reducing emissions. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the aviation sector runs the risk of repeating these mistakes in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) global scheme to offset aircraft emissions. The sustainable transport NGO called for strict rules to be put in place, and for the EU not to rely exclusively on this offsetting deal to address aircraft emissions.
The contribution flying makes to climate change is finally starting to slow down plans to expand a number of airports across Europe. Two recent decisions in particular – one in Vienna, the other in London – suggest that commitments to reducing climate changing gases are causing rethinks over the growth of airports.
The aviation sector, both in Europe and internationally, is a top polluter that has not contributed to European climate objectives under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to the same extent as other sectors. The European Commission recently published a proposal revising the sector’s participation in the EU ETS. The proposal followed the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) decision to establish a global offsetting measure for aviation which will enter into force in 2021.
· MEPs also back tightening cap on aviation emissions.Support from ports and cargo owners for last week’s vote by MEPs to include shipping emissions in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) has been sharply criticised by shipowners. The European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) said it ‘deplores’ the shipping industry’s backing for Europe regulating ship CO2 as a ‘first move’ to kick start action at global level. Shipping in Europe has CO2 emissions equal those of the Netherlands.
Aviation is even further away from doing its fair share to achieve the Paris climate goals after the European Commission proposed today that CO2 from flights to and from Europe should continue to go unregulated in the EU emissions trading system (ETS), sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The Commission’s decision cuts across the conclusions of its own impact assessment that even if the recent UN global aviation deal gets off the ground it will fall well short of the required ambition.
In a letter to the Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, five green and development organisations - Birdlife, Friends of the Earth, Fern, Oxfam, and T&E - ask the Commissioner to reconsider her position about aviation biofuels. The organisations also make some recommendations on how to start decarbonising the sector.