ICAO “welcomes the COP21 agreement” which excludes any measures to regulate aviation CO2
The Paris COP21 climate talks produced an agreement, but without any mention of the carbon emissions from international aviation and shipping. The weak paragraph just saying Parties might “pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, working through ICAO, with a view to agreeing concrete measures addressing these emissions….” was removed. A press release from ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization) says how delighted it is at the outcome of the COP21, and how now: “Every State and every global industrial sector must now redouble their efforts toward achieving substantial progress on emissions reduction if the COP21 legacy is to be achieved, and the civil aviation community is no exception.” Somehow the exclusion of aviation from the Paris agreement is interpreted by ICAO as “a vote of confidence in the progress ICAO and the aviation community have achieved thus far.” That is a pretty incredible statement, bearing in mind ICAO’s record of utterly dismal failure to produce any worthwhile progress over some 18 years. ICAO is meant to be working on developing a “market based measure” (MBM) for global aviation by September 2016. Expectations for how likely this is, or how effective it will be, are very low.
ICAO Welcomes COP21 Agreement, Will Continue to Provide Leadership and Coordinate Action on International Aviation’s Environmental Goals
MONTRÉAL, 15 DECEMBER 2015
(ICAO press release)
The Council President of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, expressed the UN civil aviation agency’s deep satisfaction and profound hope following the landmark agreement forged at the COP21 in Paris last week.
“COP21 has been a great success for our planet and for civil society, but of course its process did not end with the concluding of its agreement,” stressed President Aliu. “Every State and every global industrial sector must now redouble their efforts toward achieving substantial progress on emissions reduction if the COP21 legacy is to be achieved, and the civil aviation community is no exception.”
The fact that international aviation was not covered under the COP21 agreement was considered by Aliu to be “a vote of confidence in the progress ICAO and the aviation community have achieved thus far, [!!! really!?? ICAO’s record is one of utterly dismal failure to produce any worthwhile progress over some 15 years. AW note] and in our ambitious aspirational goals for the coming decades. [The goals are at most feeble, depending mostly on buying carbon credits from other sectors, while increasing the actual carbon emissions from aviation. AW note]
“Most importantly, it provides our community with further momentum toward achieving agreement on an international aviation market-based Measure (MBM) at ICAO’s 39th Assembly later next year.” [A market-based measure means some form of buying and paying for carbon credits, using the actual carbon reductions of other sectors, that aviation might pay a little towards. AW note]
Rather than including international aviation emissions in its agreement, the COP21 invited ICAO to continue to report progress on its wide-ranging environmental work programme to future sessions of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
The global aviation MBM is considered a key aspect of the aviation community’s global response to climate change, and subsequent to a Resolution from its 38th Assembly in 2013, ICAO’s 39th Assembly next September will consider a detailed recommendation for a global aviation MBM scheme addressing its main design elements and related implementation mechanisms from 2020.
The COP21 results also supported a Declaration this November from ICAO’s 36 State Governing Council, which emphasized that it would continue to provide the necessary leadership, through ICAO, on all environmental issues relating to international civil aviation.
Both Council President Aliu and ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu were present at the COP21 with ICAO’s Environmental Protection team, undertaking more than 20 bilateral meetings with heads of governments and international organizations to highlight the importance of ICAO’s efforts and role. [And ensuring that there was not even a small mention of progress on cutting the carbon emissions from international aviation and shipping. AW note]
“The COP21 process and outcome represents a tremendous accomplishment for the world and for aviation,” highlighted Secretary General Liu. “2016 will be a very big year for our sector and the environment, not only with respect to the MBM progress we expect at our Assembly, but also on a new global CO2 certification Standard for aircraft which should soon be completed. We look forward to making further progress with our States by providing tailored assistance and capacity building where needed, and through further and concerted cooperation I am sure aviation will continue to play an important role in helping the world to achieve a sustainable future.” [ie. aviation will continue to do as little as it can possibly get away with, for as long as possible, leaving others to cut carbon emissions. AW note]
Resources for editors:
ICAO 2015 E-GAP Seminar on Aviation Partnerships and Environmental Action
ICAO Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) on an aviation MBM
ICAO Environmental Protection activities
Comment on the ICAO statement from an AirportWatch member:
“Barefaced chutzpah from the UN’s very own climate sceptic organisation, who obviously did not want or feel the need to participate in their colleagues’ “world’s greatest diplomatic success” http://bit.ly/1I7bpaI ”
What was removed from the draft Paris agreement:
The weak text, [ bracketed ] (ie. not agreed, and so can be removed) from an earlier Paris draft agreement is copied below:
There was nothing about aviation or shipping in the final, 31 page, agreement.
Comment from T&E (Transport & Environment) – December 2015:
“Paragraph 2.2 of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol handed responsibility to limit and reduce international aviation and shipping emissions to the UN specialised agencies responsible for regulating these sectors – the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In the 18 years since then, ICAO has failed to implement one single measure to limit international aviation emissions but managed to agree to rule out fuel taxation and undermine the EU’s emissions trading scheme. The jury is out on ongoing ICAO work to develop a CO2 standard from new aircraft and to agree a global market-based measure intended to commence in 2020. In the meantime aviation emissions continue to grow at 2-3% p.a. Read more in our ‘Free Guide to ICAO’. ”
17 NGOs write to European Commission to get them to push for inclusion of aviation and shipping in Paris agreement
In response to the announcement that the carbon emissions international aviation and shipping are to be left off the draft Paris agreement, 17 European NGOs and environmental networks have written to the Arias Cañete (Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy in the European Commission) and EU-28 Climate Ministers. They say the omission of these two large sectors, with their combined huge carbon emissions, would – if sustained – greatly undermine efforts to limit a global temperature increase to 1.5/2 degrees. Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming with shipping emitting 3% of global CO2, and their carbon emissions are set to grow by up to 250% by 2050. The group of 17 say they represent millions of concerned European citizens. They ask that the Commission ensures these two sectors are covered by the Paris Agreement, so that they make a fair contribution to the world’s shared objective of a sustainable, low-carbon future. The letter states: “What the world needs from Paris is an agreement which charts our path to a low-carbon future. What we must not get is an agreement which says ambition for some, exemptions for others. Paris cannot mean these sectors are fuel-tax and now emissions-target free.”
Date: 12 December 2015
IATA Statement on the Conclusion of the COP 21 in Paris
Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released the following statement from its Director General and CEO Tony Tyler on the conclusion of the COP 21 in Paris.
“IATA welcomes the historic COP 21 Paris Agreement which will provide additional momentum to Governments for the negotiations at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on an aviation emissions agreement, which are expected to conclude next year. The aviation industry, through ICAO, is working towards securing its goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and the positive outcome of the Paris conference gives more impetus to Governments to achieve this.”
More information on the aviation industry’s position on climate change and the COP21 agreement can be found at enviro.aero
ICAO under pressure to forge deal on aviation emissions
17 Jul 2014 (EurActiv.com)
The failure to clinch a global deal within two years on reducing aviation greenhouse gas emissions could pave the way to a patchwork of regulations that would harm airlines and the environment, analysts say.
Aviation industry representatives and environmentalist tell EurActiv that there is no time to waste in reaching a global deal to create a market-based scheme to mitigate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a CO2 standard for aircraft. Years of fumbling by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mean that a global framework will not be agreed before 2016, leaving a small window for full implementation before the target deadline four years later.
The absence of an agreement at the ICAO’s next assembly in Montreal in 2016 could trigger the European Union to reimpose its now-frozen emissions scheme on foreign carriers operating at EU airports. Also by that time, the US environmental agency will have decided whether aviation emissions pose a threat to public health and should be regulated.
Environmental groups have long complained that the ICAO, the de-facto global aviation regulator, has failed to follow through with recommendations outlined under thee 1997 Kyoto protocol to develop measures to control greenhouse gas emissions produced by aircraft. Transport and Environment, an environmental pressure group, called the years after Kyoto “the lost decade” because of ICAO’s hedging on setting global emissions standards.
European industry officials have also privately expressed concern that the absence of an ICAO framework hurts airlines, especially those based in the EU, which currently has the only binding policy to control aviation carbon output, the emissions trading system, or ETS.
“We’ve been in limbo for a long time,” one airline executive familiar with the ongoing ICAO talks told EurActiv at the Farnborough International Airshow in England, adding that the international delay in setting standards contributed to the EU’s move to develop its own measures.
“Aviation is a global business and emissions are a global issue. We can’t operate with a patchwork of regional laws and regulations,” said the executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing his industry’s observer status in the ICAO negotiations. “To be competitive, there cannot be one standard for Europe and a lower standard for someone else. We either operate under a common rule book, or we’re going to see a level of confusion that hurts us financially and certainly does no good for the environment.”
Another industry official also pressed for a global agreement sooner than later, saying “regional measures detract from the market”. The EU’s initial inclusion of foreign airlines operating in European airspace under the ETS triggered an international furore, with threats of retaliation from key business partners, including China and the United States. “It was tantamount to a trade war,” said Kevin Morris, aviation and environment manager at ADS, which represents Britain’s aerospace industry.
Officials at the ICAO’s Montréal headquarters did not respond to questions on the status of the talks. The ICAO’s 191-member decision-making assembly only meets every three years. Recommendations from its working groups are due next year.
………. and it continues ……..