ICAO Agrees To Develop Global Emissions-Reduction Plan For Airlines - Business Travel News

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ICAO Agrees To Develop Global Emissions-Reduction Plan For Airlines

October 07, 2013 - 04:35 PM ET

By Jay Boehmer

Member states participating in the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization last week agreed to develop "a global market-based measure" to begin in 2020 curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry. Praised by airline organizations and member states as an historic agreement, ICAO during its two-week assembly in Montreal, which concluded Friday, agreed to propose in 2016 a more detailed plan.

Calling the agreement "the first-ever global deal to curb an industry’s emissions,” International Air Transport Association director general and CEO Tony Tyler commented, “Now we have a strong mandate and a short three-year time frame to sort out the details," according to a statement. "Airlines need and want a global MBM. Without losing any of the momentum built up over these last two weeks, we are eager to get on with the detailed work needed to design the global scheme in time for finalization at the 2016 Assembly."

ICAO now must work to define the market-based measures that will go into effect in the final agreement, "including standards for the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions and the type of scheme to be implemented," according to IATA.

IATA member carriers in June had passed a resolution asking governments "to develop a global mandatory carbon offsetting scheme." IATA members already agreed to a "1.5 percent annual improvement in fuel efficiency through 2020" and "carbon-neutral growth from 2020." The IATA proposal also called for "a 50 percent reduction in net CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 2005."

While Airlines for America noted that the ICAO assembly "reconfirmed that local and regional market-based measures, before a global measure is agreed to, are not particularly favored," the European Commission did not give a clear indication on its own plan, already in motion, to implement its own Emissions Trading Scheme.

EC in a statement noted that until the ICAO deal goes into effect, "countries or groups of countries should—within certain parameters—be able to deploy MBMs."

EC this year agreed to delay by one year implementation of its Emissions Trading Scheme for incoming and outgoing international flights, amid pushback from global airlines and other governments.

The EC "will now assess the decision taken at ICAO in more detail before deciding on the next steps with respect to the EU ETS."

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