ICAO, the UN body in charge of civil aviation, has reached a consensus on a carbon trading system (market-based measure) to curb carbon emissions from airlines by 2020, but rejected a proposal to let Europe apply its own plan to foreign carriers in the meantime.
Delegates at a crucial ICAO meeting agreed that 1) nations should seek the agreement of other nations before imposing their market-based measures on flights from those other nations; and 2) such national market-based measures should exempt flights to and from nations whose flag carriers hold less than 1% share of the global market, measured in “revenue-ton-kilometers.”
The resolution permits countries to deploy their own MBMs in the interim, but prevents EU from expanding ETS to include foreign carriers until the global scheme is in place.
The European Commission welcomed the decision to decide on a global mechanism to tackle emissions from aviation. The Assembly has agreed to develop by 2016 a global market based mechanism to tackle emissions, which can come into force in 2020. The market based mechanism will be accompanied by a series of technical and operational measures to reduce emissions. With this deal, the aviation industry becomes the first international transport sector to apply a global market-based mechanism to reduce their emissions.
EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, said: ''The EU's hard work has paid off. After so many years of talks, ICAO has finally agreed to the first-ever global deal to curb aviation emissions. If it hadn't been for the EU's hard work and determination, we wouldn't have got this decision today to create a global market-based measure. What matters to us is that the aviation sector also contributes to our efforts to reduce emissions. While we would have liked more countries to accept our regional scheme, progress was made overall and we will now factor this in when, together with the member states and the European Parliament, we decide on the way forward with the EU ETS.''
The AgreementThe UN Assembly has agreed to develop, by 2016, a global MBM for international aviation that can start in 2020. Until then countries or groups of countries should – within certain parameters – be able to deploy MBMs.
The market based measures will go hand in hand with new procedures to promote more advanced technology, including the use of better alternative aviation fuels and to promote better procedures, including in the area of air navigation. The agreement also puts in place a fair and equitable solution that respects the special circumstances and respective capabilities in which a number of countries find themselves. Aviation accounts for 3% of global CO2 emissions but ICAO statistics show that international aviation CO2 emissions are forecast to increase between 4 and 6 times by 2050 from the levels of 2010.