US President Donald Trump announcing June 1 at the White House that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The ICAO aviation emissions agreement is now ‘under review’ by his administration.
The Trump administration has not decided whether the US government will remain committed to the ICAO aviation emissions agreement and is unlikely to make a decision anytime soon, according to the US State Department.
The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is set to go into effect in 2021. So far, 70 countries, including the US, have committed to participating in the agreement’s voluntary phases from 2021-2026. But it was the Obama administration that committed the US to CORSIA when it was adopted last year, and US President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that the US is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement called into question whether the US remained committed to CORSIA.
In response to inquiries from ATW, a State Department spokesperson said the Paris accord and CORSIA “are separate international agreements with different implications” and Trump’s Paris decision “does not signal the US position on CORSIA.” However, the US position on CORSIA is “under review” and the review will likely last “for some time,” the spokesperson said.
“While this review is under way, the United States will continue to engage constructively on CORSIA’s further development, informed by our airlines, who continue to support CORSIA, and our technical experts,” the State Department spokesperson said.
At the IATA AGM in Cancun this week, delegates endorsed a resolution reaffirming the global airline industry’s commitment to CORSIA. ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in addresses at the AGM that CORSIA still remained on track following Trump’s Paris announcement.
But the US moving from fully committing to CORSIA to reviewing its position, with no timeline for making a decision, undoubtedly creates uncertainty over the accord.
IATA director-aviation environment Michael Gill said during a briefing at the AGM that participating in CORSIA is in the interest of the US and other countries because it “avoids a patchwork of regional measures” on aviation emissions that would “only increase costs and administrative complexity” for the world’s airlines.
See some earlier news stories on the CORSIA etc
Despite Trump, EU and China to back climate deal – to include aviation and shipping
A leaked document shows EU and China are more convinced of climate strategy than ever and willing to ensure aviation and shipping contribute to domestic and international measures. The EU and China are expected to announce plans to reinforce co-operation on delivering a climate deal for shipping at the IMO. This comes after US President Trump confirming that the US is pulling out of the Paris Accord. The EU and China say they “consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever” and they will “ensure that aviation and shipping contribute to combating climate change, including both through domestic measures and international co-operation.” The 19th bilateral summit between the EU and China is taking place on June 1-2 in Brussels. The aim is to advance on the strategic partnership between the EU and China. Further agreement will be made on the importance of emissions trading schemes as a cost-effective climate policy tool. The statement says the EU and China will reinforce bilateral co-operation activities on emissions trading in the context of reforming the EU ETS and starting a national ETS in China this year. Transport & Environment (T&E) director for transport and aviation Bill Hemmings welcomed the reports on future co-operation on climate change.
Leading economists warn that very high carbon tax, starting soon, needed to avoid climate catastrophe
A group of leading economists have warned that the world risks catastrophic global warming in just 13 years unless countries raise taxes on CO2 emissions to as much as $100 (£77) per metric tonne. Experts including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern believe governments must impose a tax on CO2 of $40-$80 per tonne by 2020, to limit emissions from high carbon polluting industries. The price needs to rise to $50-$100 by 2030. This would be needed to attempt to prevent global temperature rising above 2C, in line with targets set by the Cop21 Paris Agreement in 2015. In a report by the High Level Commission on Carbon Prices, backed by the World Bank and the IMF, the authors suggest poor countries could aim for a lower tax, as their economies are more vulnerable. Currently though Europe talks the talk on carbon, the EU carbon trading system currently charges major polluters just €6 (£5.20) for every tonne of CO2, which is far too low to have any impact. Stiglitz and Stern say CO2 prices should rise now, to give businesses and governments the necessary incentive to lower CO2 emissions even when fossil fuels are cheap. The rise in the cost of carbon, if the aviation industry was included, would have a significant impact on the cost of air travel, reducing demand slightly.
European aviation CO2: there should be no free ride for the aviation sector – Peter Liese
Peter Liese, who has been the rapporteur on aviation carbon legislation in the European Commission, has commented that the aviation sector should be doing more to cut carbon. He said the proposal by the European Commission to at least keep intra-European flights in the ETS is a basis for negotiations but the sector should contribute as much to emission reductions as other industries do. He said the Parliament will continue to exert pressure for ambitious climate protection measures in intercontinental flights. He welcomed the proposal to have a reducing cap on the carbon of intra-European flights, as this imposed the same linear reduction factor to aviation as for other industries. “The previous treatment was unfair to other sectors, like the steel industry, where many people are worried about their jobs. How can you tell a steelworker that his company has to meet high climate protection requirements, while other economic sectors do practically nothing?” However, the deal planned by ICAO “is by no means ambitious.” He proposes that the EU “should continue to exempt intercontinental flights until 2021, but then reinstate them if the ICAO rules are not clear. We should also include flights to countries which, like Russia, refuse to join the ICAO agreement.” Trump and Putin should not dictate what we do in Europe.
and many more at