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, 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.
The vote in the European Parliament’s plenary session in September put EU biofuels policy a step closer to being environmentally useful, but it will likely lead to delays in final agreement, which creates further uncertainty for the industry. MEPs voted to limit the use of land-based biofuels and to recognise the problem of indirect land-use change (ILUC) in future biofuels laws. But they failed to give a negotiating mandate, which would enable all institutions to conclude the agreement before the next year’s elections.
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.
Two new reports have highlighted the dangers of governments delaying action to limit transport emissions. A study from Germany says economic growth will be much harder to achieve if international action to cut climate-changing emissions is not achieved by 2015. And a study from the UK on how carbon emissions from aircraft contribute to global warming has also stressed the importance of acting now, not in several years.
The amount of ice in the Arctic has shrunk again, leading scientists to speculate that the North Pole could be completely ice-free in summer by the middle of this century.
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.
The European Parliament voted today to limit the expansion of land-based biofuels, but did not give the rapporteur of the file, MEP Corinne Lepage, a mandate to negotiate the agreement with the EU countries and the European Commission. This creates further uncertainty on the future of biofuels in Europe.
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!
The transport protocol of the Alpine Convention has entered into force in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovenia, having been ratified by the EU over the summer. The Alpine Convention is an international treaty signed by the eight Alpine countries and the EU, aimed at protecting the Alps. Its transport protocol was agreed in 2000, and has a clause that states: ‘The contracting parties shall refrain from constructing any new large-capacity roads for transalpine transport.’ However, Italy held out against ratification until it was persuaded to sign a year ago, and Switzerland has refused to sign the transport protocol, leaving its legal standing in some doubt.