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New Agreement to Control Aviation Emissions
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October 09, 2013

New Agreement to Control Aviation Emissions

By Jyothi Shanbhag
TMCnet Contributor

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN specialized agency for aviation, recently conducted a meeting attended by delegates representing 191 countries. After a rigorous meeting and discussions, delegates of different countries have come up with a resolution projecting the methods for tackling aviation’s climate change impact.

After a thorough evaluation, delegates have agreed on a framework agreement that allows the agency to develop a global mechanism known as market-based measures (MBM) over the next three years. The details would then be ratified at the next general assembly in 2016 for implementation by 2020.Paul Steele -- Executive Director of the industrywide Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) -- speaking on behalf of the industry, said that this is clearly an historic resolution, showing the leadership of both developed and developing country governments meeting at ICAO in driving to the first comprehensive agreement on climate change for any global sector.

“It represents significant progress. The aviation industry has been advocating for such a scheme since we developed the first global industry targets five years ago. We now have agreement on a global scheme and a timeline and the building blocks to deliver it,” Steele added.

The next three years will be dedicated for technical discussions as states work on the design elements of such a scheme, including standards for the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions and the type of scheme to be implemented.

Global aviation contributes less than two per cent of all carbon emissions, but ICAO wants to contain greenhouse emissions as the industry continues to grow, especially in the developing world. Passenger demand is expected to double by 2030.

IBAC director general Kurt Edwards said, "ICAO's decision to develop a global MBM represents a constructive route away from a patchwork quilt of national and regional MBMs. It is a path to greater predictability and certainty for business operators. IBAC and the business aviation community stand ready to contribute to ICAO's important work going forward."

Back in 2009, the global aviation industry decided to cap its net emissions from 2020 through "carbon-neutral growth" and halve its net CO2 emissions by 2050, based on 2005 levels.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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