Icao failing in its emissions mandate – T&E

T&E has warned that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) is threatening to undermine efforts it is responsible for.

Sketch of some documents (default image for news

[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Under the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, Icao was appointed as the body responsible for seeing that the air industry addresses emissions from international flights.

But in a statement made in the run-up to the triennial Icao General Assembly later this month, T&E says the UN agency is doing its best to stop the EU from taking action through entering aviation into Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

T&E’s policy officer João Vieira said: “After a shameful decade of inaction and obstruction, Icao must now give its full support to emissions trading and other measures to combat rapidly growing aviation emissions. The EU must be prepared to go it alone if Icao gives anything less than full backing to the emissions trading plan.”

In an attempt to highlight how Icao has obstructed the action it is responsible for promoting, T&E has drawn up a history of Icao actions on aviation and the environment since just before Kyoto (see panel).

Aviation in ETS

Meanwhile the battle to work out the detail of aviation’s entry to the ETS continues.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament’s transport committee tried to water down the proposal by requesting a delay in the entry from 2011 to 2012, calling for 80% of emissions permits to be handed free to airlines, and asking for the cap on emissions from aircraft to be based on the period 2007-09, not the 2004-06 the Commission is proposing.

A day later, members of the EP’s environment committee, which has the lead role on this dossier, took the opposite view. MEPs from all political groups called for a more stringent cap, and said at least 50% permits should be paid for via an auctioning process. The environment committee will vote in early October, with the full Parliament adopting its position in mid-November.

The environment commit-tee’s position echoes a report published a week earlier by Friends of the Earth, which said the Commission’s proposals for aviation entering the ETS would have very little impact on the sector’s contribution to climate change.

The report “Aviation in a Low-Carbon EU” was written by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Great Britain, and calls for both the ETS to be strengthened and additional measures to reduce the growth in flights.

This news story is taken from the September 2007 edition of T&E Bulletin.