Airlines write to UN Secretary General to say they want governments to set up offsetting for their carbon growth
Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce are among 28 signatories to open letter to the Secretary General of the UN, stressing the need for a carbon market to curb aviation CO2. They say they are committed to curbing the aviation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of a Paris climate deal this December. Their letter says they will not increase net (Note: net not gross) CO2 emissions from aviation after 2020 and halve them compared to 2005 by 2050. These cuts would in practice not be made by actually reducing the amount of CO2 aviation emits, but by buying credits from other sectors that actually reduce their carbon. To do this, they need to agree a carbon market at the 2016 summit of UN aviation authority, ICAO. The design of a “market mechanism” (system of trading carbon) to offset emissions by investing in low carbon development projects is behind schedule. The aviation industry is keen to be seen to be doing something, though internal divisions within ICAO mean agreeing anything that would actually be effective in limiting the sector’s carbon emissions. They still hope to be able to cut emissions by a few % by use of biofuels, though this is not looking promising. Though the letter is a start, global aviation needs much more ambition, and it cannot rely on offsets indefinitely. See critique of offsetting for carbon cuts.
European Parliament urges EU governments to include aviation and shipping in a strong Paris climate deal
The Environment Ministers of the 28 European member states will be meeting on 18 September to finalise the EU position for COP21, to be held in Paris at the end of November. The heads of 7 of the 8 political groups of the European Parliament’s environment committee have written to the EU Environment Ministers urging them to include international shipping and aviation in a global climate deal at Paris. They said: “To promote increased climate ambition from ICAO and IMO, like all the other sectors of the global economy, aviation and international shipping require an emissions reduction target. There is no reasonable excuse to continue exempting these two economy sectors from the global policy framework. Aviation and shipping need to contribute in the same way that is required of all UNFCCC Parties, large and small.” The group, T&E commented that: “It’s simply fair to demand from two economic sectors with emissions the size of Germany and South Korea – about 8% of world CO2 – to reduce their emissions in line with keeping the global temperature increase below 2 degrees C. The IMO and ICAO have been procrastinating so far. The time for action has come.”. The CO2 emissions from global aviation are expected to grow by 200 – 300% by 2050.