By Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: 2015 ended with big promises from the UN aviation and shipping bodies, ICAO and the IMO, that they’d finally act to rein in their sectors’ substantial and growing climate impact. It has been almost 20 years since they were first tasked with doing so by the Kyoto Protocol, and 2016 would be their last chance.
Strengthening the ETS as proposed by MEPs will cut almost four times more emissions from flights within Europe than the UN’s new offsetting scheme for aviation CO2, a new independent study has revealed. Europe has faced sustained pressure from industry and other states to remove aviation from its ETS and leave climate action to UN aviation body ICAO. But the study, commissioned by Transport & Environment, also finds that the ICAO global scheme will deliver less for the climate than the original aviation ETS, which only covers flights in, from and to Europe.
This study presents a comparative analysis of the global offsetting scheme for aircraft CO2 and various scopes for the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS.
Despite the aviation sector’s substantial climate impact, the European Commission proposes to apply a block exemption from State aid rules for investments aid to airports with up to 3 million passengers annually. Not only will this result in a waste of taxpayer money and a distortion of the single market, but it will also undermine Europe’s climate and decarbonisation objectives.
Growth in emissions from shipping and aviation will undo nearly half (43%) of the savings expected to be made by the rest of transport in Europe through to 2030, a new independent study has found. It means that almost half of the already-inadequate emissions savings expected in land transport will be cancelled out by ships and planes, according to the report commissioned by sustainable group Transport & Environment (T&E).
This report analyses the demand for liquid fossil fuels in the EU transport sector over the years 2010 to 2030, notably for the sectors maritime transport and aviation. The estimations are based on figures published in the EU energy transport and GHG trends to 2050 - reference scenario for 2013 that accompanied the 2030 climate package Impact Assessment of the European Commission, as well as on the analysis underlying the European Commission’s Impact Assessment on MRV regulation for the maritime transport sector.
Today’s ruling by the WTO against Washington State on subsidies to Boeing, and an earlier similar ruling on Airbus, officially adds another €5.4 billion ($5.7 billion) to the already very long list of subsidies granted to the aviation sector, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment has said.
Aviation is responsible for an estimated 5% of climate change, however the Paris Agreement left it unclear who is responsible for regulating the sector’s emissions. At the conclusion of COP21, the UN’s aviation agency, ICAO, and the aviation sector itself committed to substantial climate action in 2016. Now is the time to evaluate whether they followed through on that commitment. The two measures adopted in 2016 – a CO2 standard for new aircraft and a global market based measure to stabilise emissions at 2020 levels fall far short of what the Paris Agreement requires. Neither will have a meaningful impact on aviation emissions. Much more is needed – both greater ambition at ICAO, but also developed countries must go first and take serious action to reduce emissions from the aviation sectors which dwarf emissions from developing countries.