ICAO’s environment committee comes up with some standards for new aircraft, years ahead

The meeting of the ICAO “Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) in Montreal has ended. The committee’s purpose is to try to reduce and limit the environmental damage done by the aviation industry (noise, air pollution, carbon emissions).  It has not been very successful to date. This meeting has agreed on an

Aircraft Engine Standard: “A new stringency level that would limit the emissions of non-volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) from aircraft engines was agreed. The ICAO standard is expected to drive technologies to address non-volatile particulate matter, which in the long run will minimise their potential environmental and health impacts.” ie. for planes yet to be built, with any impacts decades ahead. At least admitting the problem of PM particles produced by planes.  On noise ICAO said: “The meeting also delivered …improvements of aircraft noise up to 15.5 dB below Chapter 14 limits for single-aisle aircraft by 2027, NOx emission by 54 per cent relative to the latest ICAO NOx SARPs and fuel efficiency up to 1.3% per annum can be expected for the new aircraft entering into production.” Again, for new planes, with no real impact for decades. On CORSIA they said CAEP had agreement (not spelled out) on how to assess life-cycle CO2 emissions reductions for biofuels or other lower carbon fuels.  ie. not a lot.
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Sustainable aviation takes significant step forward at ICAO 

​Global measures to address aviation’s environmental impact were agreed at a meeting of the two hundred and fifty experts of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which concluded today ICAO’s Montréal headquarters today.

​Montréal, 15 February 2019

ICAO website

Global measures to address aviation’s environmental impact were agreed at a meeting of the two hundred and fifty experts of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), which concluded today.

The meeting was opened by Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council of ICAO, recognizing that “In the 35 years since the CAEP was established, the scope of work and the technical areas which it covers have widened. Yet, despite the monumental challenges set before it, the CAEP remains a tremendous example of international cooperation.”

The main outcomes of the meeting are as follows:

Aircraft Engine Standard

A new stringency level that would limit the emissions of non-volatile Particulate Matter (nvPM) from aircraft engines was agreed. The ICAO standard is expected to drive technologies to address non-volatile particulate matter, which in the long run will minimize their potential environmental and health impacts.

With this new standard, ICAO has completed all main environmental standards for the certification of aircraft and engines, namely for noise, local air quality (NOx, HC, CO, nvPM) and climate change (CO2), making the aviation industry the only sector with environmental mandatory certification requirements at the global level for the operation of its equipment. Once applicable, all new aircraft will need to be certified to those ICAO standards before operating.

The meeting also delivered new technology goals for the sector, including improvements of aircraft noise up to 15.5 dB below Chapter 14 limits for single-aisle aircraft by 2027, NOx emission by 54 per cent relative to the latest ICAO NOx SARPs and fuel efficiency up to 1.3 per cent per annum can be expected for the new aircraft entering into production.

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) 

Agreement has been achieved on the means to calculate and claim the benefits accrued from the use of sustainable aviation fuels within the context of CORSIA. This is significant in terms of reducing airlines’ offsetting requirements.

The agreement included the default values and the methodologies for calculating actual values needed to calculate the life-cycle CO2 emissions reduction benefits of different feedstocks. CAEP has also agreed on the requirements for Sustainability Certification Schemes (SCS) and a process to evaluate and recommend a list of eligible SCS, which will certify fuels against the CORSIA sustainability criteria. This package of agreements provides the clarity needed for the energy sector to embark in the production of sustainable fuels for aviation, and is an important step towards CORSIA implementation.

In addition, CAEP has delivered a recommendation for the rules and procedure for the ICAO Council’s Technical Advisory Body (TAB), which will evaluate the eligibility of emissions units for use in CORSIA. Another agreement was the technical updates of Environmental Technical Manual on CORSIA, which clarifies the recommended actions by States and airlines for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions under CORSIA.

Environmental Trends and Outlook 

The meeting agreed on the updated ICAO environmental trends for noise, local air quality (NOx and nvPM) and global climate (CO2), which will be the basis for the considerations of ICAO environmental policies at the next ICAO Assembly, in September 2019.

Important publications were also developed as part of ICAO’s eco-airport toolkit collection in the areas of renewable energy, waste management, environmental management, and eco-design of airport building.

Regarding climate change adaptation, a Synthesis Report was approved for publication, providing important information on the climate risk impacts and resilient options for the sector.

Two other important reports were agreed: one on the state of aircraft end-of-life and recycling; and the other on performance-based navigation and community engagement.

The meeting further agreed with the results of the assessment of the positive effects of operational improvements. The assessment showed that the implementation of these measures, as per ICAO global plans, savings of fuel between of 167 to 307 kg per flight can be achieved by 2025. This corresponds respectively to a reduction of 26.2 to 48.2 Mt of CO2. The meeting agreed on the publication of the white paper “State of the Science 2019: Aviation Noise Impacts Workshop”.

CAEP also considered the progress that has been achieved towards supersonic transport operations, and agreed that an exploratory study should be undertaken.

CAEP will also assess how to certify other new technologies such as hybrid and electric aircraft as part of its future work.

CAEP is a technical body of the ICAO Council, and all the technical recommendations agreed by CAEP above will be considered by the Council for final approval.

https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Sustainable-aviation-takes-significant-step-forward-at-ICAO.aspx

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See earlier:

Critics attack secrecy at UN’s ICAO CAEP committee, tasked with cutting global airline CO2 emissions

A UN ICAO committee, Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP), with the job of cutting global aircraft carbon emissions (an issue of global concern) is meeting secretly, for discussions dominated by airline industry observers. The committee always meets behind closed doors; the press and other observers are not allowed in (unlike other UN committees).  The committee’s agenda and discussion documents are not released to the public or the international press. Anyone who leaks documents being discussed faces “unlimited liability for confidentiality breaches”, according to ICAO rules.  The only non-governmental body not linked to the airline industry allowed into the meeting is the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), made up of a small group of international environmental NGOs. Transparency International says “Agencies which set common global standards for large, international industries have to be transparent in order to prevent capture by corporate interests … ”  A key concern is that the committee wants to certify biofuels, that are definitely NOT environmentally sustainable, as low carbon. And also fossil oil, produced using solar energy – also NOT a low carbon fuel. The committee needs to be open to public scrutiny.

Click here to view full story…

ICAO’s CORSIA low standards on biofuels risk undercutting EU’s new renewables rules

The UN’s ICAO is a secretive organisation, that has been woefully ineffective in limiting the CO2 emissions of global aviation. There are considerable concerns that it will try to get bad biofuels certified as low carbon, in order to whitewash the sector’s emissions in future. The global deal, CORSIA, making the first tentative steps towards restricting aviation CO2 at all is just starting. There is, elsewhere, growing understanding that biofuels are generally not the way forward, and their real lifecycle carbon emissions are far higher than their proponents make out. ICAO has now agree 2 criteria (out of 12 possible) for aviation biofuels. These are that there should have been no deforestation after 2009; and there should be at least a saving of 10% of green house gas emissions, (including emissions from indirect land-use change or ILUC) compared to fossil jet kerosene. ICAO’s environment committee will develop rules for what biofuels can be credited – ie. how much of an emissions reduction each biofuel delivers.  The effect can only be accurately accounted for using models. There is a serious danger they will try and include palm oil. And countries like Saudi Arabia are trying to get “lower carbon” fossil fuels included, if their production can be 10% more carbon efficient.  So aviation will continue to emit vast amounts of carbon for decades….

Click here to view full story…

Experts say legal obstacles no barrier to introducing aviation fuel tax for flights in Europe

EU countries can end the decades-long exemption on taxing aviation fuel. Legal experts say it is possible to tax kerosene on flights between EU countries. This could either be done at EU level through a series of bilateral agreements or by agreement between individual countries. Transport & Environment (T&E) has found that the old argument that foreign carriers’ operating within the EU – de facto a small number of flights – can’t be taxed can be overcome by introducing a de minimis threshold below which fuel burn would not be taxed.  At present (and for decades past) airlines, unlike almost all other forms of transport, pay no fuel tax on flights within or from the EU – even though aviation causes 5% of global warming. They also pay no VAT.  Despite the aviation industry’s attempts to hide behind the 1944 Chicago Convention, when the agreement was made on not taxing aviation fuel, that is not what is preventing fuel taxation. In fact it is old bilateral ‘air service agreements’ that European governments signed up to years ago that include mutual fuel tax exemptions for non-EU airlines. It remains too hard to tax fuel for international, non-EU, flights.

Click here to view full story…

CORSIA and its failings explained – great piece from Carbon Brief

In a long, detailed and very informative article from Carbon Brief, Jocelyn Timperley explains the CORSIA scheme for aircraft carbon emissions, and its failings. While airlines are starting this year to measure and record their carbon emissions for the first time, it is not expected that the scheme will do anything much to limit aviation carbon.  “It can be expected to “modestly reduce” the net climate impact of international aviation up to 2035, according to the (ICCT). This is only if high-quality offsets are used and those offsets are not “double counted”, the think-tank adds….  Unless it is extended beyond 2035, Corsia will cover only 6% of projected CO2 emissions from all international aviation between 2015 and 2050, ICCT data indicates.”  That assumes China will partake from the pilot phase. “Base emissions continue to grow under Corsia due to uncovered traffic….. The ICCT argues this means Corsia “does not obviate the need for an ICAO long-term climate goal”. Because of a range of issues, like biofuels, offsets, forestry etc : “It’s not just that Corsia is a weak measure – it’s that it’s an actively bad measure, that risks doing more harm than good.”

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Critics attack secrecy at UN’s ICAO CAEP committee, tasked with cutting global airline CO2 emissions

A UN ICAO committee, Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP), with the job of cutting global aircraft carbon emissions (an issue of global concern) is meeting secretly, for discussions dominated by airline industry observers. The committee always meets behind closed doors; the press and other observers are not allowed in (unlike other UN committees).  The committee’s agenda and discussion documents are not released to the public or the international press. Anyone who leaks documents being discussed faces “unlimited liability for confidentiality breaches”, according to ICAO rules.  The only non-governmental body not linked to the airline industry allowed into the meeting is the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), made up of a small group of international environmental NGOs. Transparency International says “Agencies which set common global standards for large, international industries have to be transparent in order to prevent capture by corporate interests … ”  A key concern is that the committee wants to certify biofuels, that are definitely NOT environmentally sustainable, as low carbon. And also fossil oil, produced using solar energy – also NOT a low carbon fuel. The committee needs to be open to public scrutiny.

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The problem is that the UK is determined to see the ICAO process, CORSIA, as the way aviation carbon will be dealt with. With its secrecy and low standards, it is NOT sufficient. The UK needs to do more to restrict aviation CO2 emissions. Not just use ICAO as a convenient excuse for inaction.


Critics attack secrecy at UN body seeking to cut global airline emissions

Body in charge of cutting aviation’s carbon footprint meets behind closed doors

A UN body tasked with cutting global aircraft emissions is covertly meeting this week for discussions dominated by airline industry observers.

The environment committee of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) meets on Monday in Montreal behind closed doors to discuss measures to reduce emissions from international aircraft. Domestic and international flights emitted 895m tonnes of CO2 last year – 2.4% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, according to Carbon Brief. In terms of emissions, if aviation were a country it would be the sixth largest in the world.

But the body in charge of reducing the carbon footprint of international aviation has little or no public scrutiny. Its agenda and discussion documents are not released to the public or the international press, and the meetings are not open to the media.

Anyone who leaks documents being discussed faces “unlimited liability for confidentiality breaches”, according to ICAO rules.

Key observers at Monday’s meeting of the ICAO  Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP) are a number of industry bodies. They include the International Business Aviation Council, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, the Arab Civil Aviation Commission, the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations, the Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The only non-governmental body not linked to the airline industry allowed into the meeting is the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, (ICSA) https://www.icsa-aviation.org/  made up of a small group of international environmental NGOs.

Nadja Kostka, climate project coordinator at Transparency International, said: “Agencies which set common global standards for large, international industries have to be transparent in order to prevent capture by corporate interests, or even the appearance of undue influence.

“The ICAO currently meets behind closed doors, including for discussion about emissions, which affect the entire planet. We’ve seen similar situations at other UN agencies … we strongly believe that all UN bodies need to commit to transparent ways of working in order to gain the public’s trust.”

The key discussions on reducing emissions come amid growing pressure from some countries – and their airlines – to open the doors to all types of biofuels, including those which cause environmental destruction, such as palm oil-based fuels.

Malaysia, which is not a member of CAEP, is pushing a campaign – Love my Palm Oil – to extend it to non-food use, supported by its three main airlines.

Twenty-four countries, including the UK, France, Canada, Singapore, Russia and the US, have representatives at this week’s meeting.

This year international aircraft will for the first time have to start monitoring their emissions as part of ICAO measures to reduce emissions with a market-based system of purchasing emissions offsets – rather than by directly reducing aircraft emissions.

They can reduce the amount of carbon emissions they have to offset by using biofuels, but as yet there has been no agreement by member countries on restricting the new fuels to those which are sustainable.

The scheme was agreed in 2016 by the ICAO countries. But few believe it will have the required impact on cutting emissions in a growing aviation industry in which passenger numbers are predicted to double to 8.2 billion in 2037.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) said it could only be expected to “modestly reduce” the net climate impact of international aviation up to 2035.

Andrew Murphy of the NGO Transport and Environment, said the lack of transparency gave little confidence that the ICAO would tackle emissions, adding: “Media are free, and in fact encouraged, to cover similar meetings in other UN agencies …

“It’s well past time that ICAO brought its media practices into line with the rest of the UN family, a move which would help raise confidence in its decision-making.”

Last year Saudi Arabia – with the backing of the US – secured a new definition at the ICAO of alternative fuels to include “clean oil” because the refinery producing the oil was run on renewable electricity – something Murphy said amounted to “greenwash oil” and was “an awful deal for the climate”.

The environmental NGOs are calling for the ICAO and all its committees to open to the public and remove threats of “unlimited liability” for members who release documents.

“At present, state and observer submissions to CAEP remain unavailable to those outside of CAEP,” they said.

“When such submissions contain commercially sensitive information, such secrecy may be acceptable. However, this justification oftentimes deserves to be challenged, as information from manufacturers which is submitted to CAEP is, as a matter of course, available to other manufactures, and therefore no harm can be identified from making it available to a broader range of actors.

“Such a level of secrecy stands in contrast to other UN agencies.”

Under the Paris climate change agreement, emissions from international aviation are not specifically included in national climate targets required by countries to pursue efforts to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C. This leaves ICAO as the primary body for reducing airline emissions.

A spokesman for ICAO provided the Guardian with a list of attendees to the meeting and said the meeting results would be made available, but not the discussion papers. “Only the CAEP members and recognized observers are permitted in the room for said discussions,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/11/critics-attack-secrecy-at-un-body-seeking-to-cut-global-airline-emissions

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See also

 

ICAO’s CORSIA low standards on biofuels risk undercutting EU’s new renewables rules

The UN’s ICAO is a secretive organisation, that has been woefully ineffective in limiting the CO2 emissions of global aviation. There are considerable concerns that it will try to get bad biofuels certified as low carbon, in order to whitewash the sector’s emissions in future. The global deal, CORSIA, making the first tentative steps towards restricting aviation CO2 at all is just starting. There is, elsewhere, growing understanding that biofuels are generally not the way forward, and their real lifecycle carbon emissions are far higher than their proponents make out. ICAO has now agree 2 criteria (out of 12 possible) for aviation biofuels. These are that there should have been no deforestation after 2009; and there should be at least a saving of 10% of green house gas emissions, (including emissions from indirect land-use change or ILUC) compared to fossil jet kerosene. ICAO’s environment committee will develop rules for what biofuels can be credited – ie. how much of an emissions reduction each biofuel delivers.  The effect can only be accurately accounted for using models. There is a serious danger they will try and include palm oil. And countries like Saudi Arabia are trying to get “lower carbon” fossil fuels included, if their production can be 10% more carbon efficient.  So aviation will continue to emit vast amounts of carbon for decades….

Click here to view full story…

Malaysian airlines back Malaysian campaign to boost palm oil production and use

A Malaysian newspaper comments on the Ministry of Primary Industries’ year-long “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign. It aims to fight anti-palm oil campaigns that backers of palm oil growing say are threatening people’s livelihoods.  Now 3 Malaysian airlines have joined the campaign, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Airways and AirAsia.  The airlines, with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), “will extol the virtues of palm oil through their digital info screens, in-flight magazines and entertainment systems, art and product displays.” The Primary Industries minister says they are displaying “patriotism” and elevating the image of palm oil.  This followed the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) passing a resolution in October 2018 to ban palm oil biofuels in Europe by 2020.  Malaysia and Indonesia are the largest producers of palm oil globally.  Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is due to hold the official launch of the “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign in the first quarter of 2019. [Palm oil as a fuel for aircraft is a disaster, as its life-cycle carbon emissions are high, taking into account the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) impacts. Not to mention the deforestation and loss of biodiversity. But palm oil would be cheap fuel for airlines, regardless of how environmentally harmful it is ….]

Click here to view full story…

CORSIA and its failings explained – great piece from Carbon Brief

In a long, detailed and very informative article from Carbon Brief, Jocelyn Timperley explains the CORSIA scheme for aircraft carbon emissions, and its failings. While airlines are starting this year to measure and record their carbon emissions for the first time, it is not expected that the scheme will do anything much to limit aviation carbon.  “It can be expected to “modestly reduce” the net climate impact of international aviation up to 2035, according to the (ICCT). This is only if high-quality offsets are used and those offsets are not “double counted”, the think-tank adds….  Unless it is extended beyond 2035, Corsia will cover only 6% of projected CO2 emissions from all international aviation between 2015 and 2050, ICCT data indicates.”  That assumes China will partake from the pilot phase. “Base emissions continue to grow under Corsia due to uncovered traffic….. The ICCT argues this means Corsia “does not obviate the need for an ICAO long-term climate goal”. Because of a range of issues, like biofuels, offsets, forestry etc : “It’s not just that Corsia is a weak measure – it’s that it’s an actively bad measure, that risks doing more harm than good.”

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

ICAO’s CORSIA low standards on biofuels risk undercutting EU’s new renewables rules

The UN’s ICAO is a secretive organisation, that has been woefully ineffective in limiting the CO2 emissions of global aviation. There are considerable concerns that it will try to get bad biofuels certified as low carbon, in order to whitewash the sector’s emissions in future. The global deal, CORSIA, making the first tentative steps towards restricting aviation CO2 at all is just starting. There is, elsewhere, growing understanding that biofuels are generally not the way forward, and their real lifecycle carbon emissions are far higher than their proponents make out. ICAO has now agree 2 criteria (out of 12 possible) for aviation biofuels. These are that there should have been no deforestation after 2009; and there should be at least a saving of 10% of green house gas emissions, (including emissions from indirect land-use change or ILUC) compared to fossil jet kerosene. ICAO’s environment committee will develop rules for what biofuels can be credited – ie. how much of an emissions reduction each biofuel delivers.  The effect can only be accurately accounted for using models. There is a serious danger they will try and include palm oil. And countries like Saudi Arabia are trying to get “lower carbon” fossil fuels included, if their production can be 10% more carbon efficient.  So aviation will continue to emit vast amounts of carbon for decades….

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Aviation risks undercutting EU’s new renewables rules

11th Feb 2019

The ink is barely dry on the EU’s revised renewable energy policy and already it is under threat from the aviation sector, warn Jori Sihvonen and Andrew Murphy.

Both are experts with green transport NGO Transport & Environment.

That sector’s UN aviation agency, ICAO, known for its “spectacular lack of transparency”, is once more having a closed door meeting which risks clearing the way for the type of bad biofuels the EU has spent a decade trying to get rid of.

And, on top of that, they are seeking to add “lower carbon” aviation fossil fuels as an option to cut aviation emissions.

ICAO and the aviation sector have been looking to biofuels to reverse their massive and continuing emissions growth. The agency has agreed that biofuels should be an option to comply with CORSIA, the global offsetting measure that aims to limit aviation emissions to 2020 levels.

But this also means that ICAO has to develop rules for what biofuels can be credited and by how much – ie, how much of an emissions reduction each biofuel delivers.

This is where this week’s meeting of ICAO’s environment committee in Montreal plays a significant role. It will decide rules for biofuels based on technical work done over the last three years. The meeting will also decide the main work areas for the next three years.

Last year, 12 themes for sustainability criteria were proposed but only two were adopted by ICAO’s governing council.

The two criteria adopted include:

   – no deforestation after 2009

   – and a 10% greenhouse gas savings threshold – including emissions from indirect land-use change or ILUC.

(ILUC refers to the indirect effect of increasing the demand for agricultural land – in this case for biofuels – and displacing the existing production to expand the agricultural frontier to natural habitats, mainly forest and grassland, causing emissions from deforestation.)

The other 10 themes were not approved, covering important issues such as human rights, land rights, environmental protection, food security, water protection, etc.

The ICAO council asked the environment committee to reexamine whether the excluded criteria were truly required and that will be debated now. The European and progressive members of the committee should stay strong and require the full set of criteria to be adopted.

Another important issue on the agenda is the rules on counting the GHG emissions. As we know from available documents, the GHG savings criteria will include emissions from induced (or indirect) land-use change (ILUC).

The effect can only be accurately accounted for using models. What sort of values, and under what assumption the modelling is done, is going to impact how much GHG savings they are credited with providing under CORSIA.

Europe’s Renewable Energy Directive is predicated on the basis that the ILUC effect significantly increases the climate impact of biofuels to the point where many of them are worse than the fossil fuels they replaced.

In 2015, the EU decided to cap the use of crop biofuels. Now EU countries need to use food-based biofuels to meet renewable energy targets, but following the adoption of a new law that comes into force in 2021, EU member states will no longer be forced to use food-based biofuels.

Meanwhile the eligibility of “high indirect land-use change-risk biofuels” towards meeting renewables targets will be phased out by 2030. This could mean no more palm oil in our tanks as palm expansion is associated with significant deforestation. Models also show that palm oil has on average the highest ILUC emissions. The US already restricts the use of palm oil under its renewable fuels law.

However, if ICAO fails to adopt rules which mirror the direction taken by those in the EU, it will provide a backdoor to the use of food-based biofuels and palm oil in the aviation sector.

Already three airlines (Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Airways and AirAsia ) have joined forces for a “Love Palm Oil” campaign, and we don’t know how many more are eagerly waiting to burn these crops.

But if ILUC is not considered or is underestimated, there is a danger that ICAO will give its stamp of approval for the use of palm oil, a crop which every year is responsible for 1-2% of global warming. Overall the focus should be on advanced fuels, as crop-based biofuels cannot be considered a long-term decarbonisation option for aviation.

The council of ICAO also recently gave in to a Saudi push, backed by the US, to include lower carbon aviation fuels as an option for complying with CORSIA. These are traditional fossil fuels produced in a manner which marginally reduces their climate impact. This week states will push for rules to expedite the crediting of such fuels.

All of this information is based on previous leaks and what we know are the planned ‘next steps’ for the committee. The meetings of ICAO and its environment committee are notoriously secret affairs where even the few observers allowed in are restricted on what they can say. One of the world’s biggest emitters is regulated almost entirely in secret.

What is clear for us is that the EU needs to retain its control of setting policy in Europe while fighting for the best possible criteria at international level. It must fight to ensure that rulemaking is founded on reality.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/aviation/opinion/aviation-risks-undercutting-eus-new-renewables-rules/

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Those so called lower carbon fuels: 

Oil giant Saudi Arabia, for example, has previously argued that the 2016 agreement should be “fuel neutral” – whereby it does not discriminate between different types of fuels – because technological advances could one day enable crude to be produced with 10% fewer emissions, as the deal requires, according to a Saudi presentation seen by Reuters.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-aviation-oil/un-aviation-agency-may-include-fossil-fuels-in-emissions-deal-sources-idUKKBN1JB28K

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UN aviation agency may include fossil fuels in emissions deal: sources

By Allison Lampert, Julia Fioretti

15.6.2018  (Reuters)

MONTREAL/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The U.N. aviation agency is expected to include fossil fuels in a landmark global agreement to limit aircraft emissions, a move that could encourage airlines to purchase crude over more costly biojet fuels, sources familiar with the matter said.

Countries at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are seeking to agree on rules that will govern how the overall deal, brokered by the ICAO in 2016, will be implemented.

The United States, backed by Saudi Arabia and other countries, has proposed giving airlines credit for using crude oil as well as aviation fuels from renewable sources like corn, provided they meet the deal’s lower-emissions criteria, two industry sources said.

Europe will back the proposal next week at an ICAO meeting in Montreal, as long as the fossil fuels eligible under the deal deliver actual carbon savings, two European Commission officials said separately.

ICAO experts would determine how many emissions each fuel emits to avoid any confusion.

The emission levels of individual fuels need to be “very robust so there is no fooling around with what is the actual performance of one fuel over another”, one of the officials said.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia, for example, has previously argued that the 2016 agreement should be “fuel neutral” – whereby it does not discriminate between different types of fuels – because technological advances could one day enable crude to be produced with 10 percent fewer emissions, as the deal requires, according to a Saudi presentation seen by Reuters.

“What they (the Saudis) are saying is ‘don’t rule it out for us,” said the first industry source.

All of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity because talks on how to implement the 2016 deal, known as the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), are private.

Representatives from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. State Department did not respond to requests for comment. An ICAO spokesman declined to comment.

LOWER EMISSION FOSSIL FUELS

The European Commission sent a letter to EU ministers this week reiterating concerns that any attempts to weaken the 2016 deal, which will go into effect in 2021, should be “strongly opposed.”

The agreement aims to cap airline emissions at 2020 levels, and airlines would be required to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

Airlines would receive credit toward lowering their emissions if they use eligible lower-carbon fuels.

Haldane Dodd, spokesman for the Air Transport Action Group, which represents 50 members of the aviation industry, would not take a position on the use of lower-carbon crudes but advocated “strong sustainability standards for our fuels.”

Europe hopes that airlines will still be encouraged to use more costly biojet fuels if they deliver bigger emissions savings.

But with aviation biofuels now only produced in small quantities, lowering the emissions of conventional jet fuel may prove a better option for the environment, said a fifth source who works in the aviation industry.

“If we can develop technologies that are going to make fossil fuels with lower emissions, isn’t that a carbon savings compared with business as usual?”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-aviation-oil/un-aviation-agency-may-include-fossil-fuels-in-emissions-deal-sources-idUKKBN1JB28K

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Read more »

Malaysian airlines back Malaysian campaign to boost palm oil production and use

A Malaysian newspaper comments on the Ministry of Primary Industries’ year-long “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign. It aims to fight anti-palm oil campaigns that backers of palm oil growing say are threatening people’s livelihoods.  Now 3 Malaysian airlines have joined the campaign, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Airways and AirAsia.  The airlines, with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), “will extol the virtues of palm oil through their digital info screens, in-flight magazines and entertainment systems, art and product displays.” The Primary Industries minister says they are displaying “patriotism” and elevating the image of palm oil.  This followed the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) passing a resolution in October 2018 to ban palm oil biofuels in Europe by 2020.  Malaysia and Indonesia are the largest producers of palm oil globally.  Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is due to hold the official launch of the “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign in the first quarter of 2019. [Palm oil as a fuel for aircraft is a disaster, as its life-cycle carbon emissions are high, taking into account the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) impacts. Not to mention the deforestation and loss of biodiversity. But palm oil would be cheap fuel for airlines, regardless of how environmentally harmful it is ….]
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“Three major [Malaysian] airlines join ‘Love MY Palm Oil’ campaign”

Malaysia and Indonesia are the largest producers of palm oil globally. — Reuters pic
Malaysia and Indonesia are the largest producers of palm oil globally. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 —

The Ministry of Primary Industries’ year-long “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign to fight anti-palm oil campaigns that are threatening people’s livelihoods received a boost with the coming together of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd and AirAsia Bhd to endorse Malaysian palm oil to the world.

The three airlines, along with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), will extol the virtues of palm oil through their digital info screens, in-flight magazines and entertainment systems, art and product displays.

“I am glad that MAHB and the airlines have displayed their patriotism by supporting our campaign to further elevate the image of palm oil,” said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok in a statement today.

“Their efforts will also help us counter misperceptions on palm oil created by the aggressive anti-palm oil campaigns.”

The campaign, which was mooted by Kok on January 8, was to instil pride and a greater appreciation for Malaysian palm oil, by focusing on socio-economic importance, health, nutrition and food, and non-food applications.

This followed the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) passing a resolution last October to ban palm oil biofuels in Europe by 2020.

“I hope many more industry players will come forward and join us in this cause to protect our nation’s largest commodity that has been the source of livelihood and jobs for three million people,” she added.

Malaysia and Indonesia are the largest producers of palm oil globally.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to officiate the official launch of the “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign in the first quarter of 2019.

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/01/22/three-major-airlines-join-love-my-palm-oil-campaign/1715306

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The EU’s palm oil policy is triggering condemnation from the other side of the globe

A proposed ban on the use of palm oil in transport fuel used in the EU is driving fears in major Southeast Asian producing countries where the product is a key economic crop.

By Huileng Tan | @huileng_tan  (CNBC)

28 Dec 2018

The European Union is phasing out the use of palm oil in transport fuel, triggering criticism of trade protectionism and threats of retaliation from major producersIndonesia and Malaysia.

The European move comes after years of activist campaigns about the vegetable oil associated with rampant deforestation and labor abuses, highlighting how consumer concerns about sustainability are increasingly influencing businesses.

According to Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of environmental non-governmental organizations co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund, the large Indonesian island of Sumatra lost 56 percent of its 25 million hectares (250,000 square kilometers, or bigger than the size of the U.K.) of natural forests over 31 years.

The palm oil industry, with its national epicenter on that island, is thought to be one of the biggest drivers of that loss, the coalition said.

France and Norway have become the first few countries to start curbing use of palm oil in the last month, driving fears in major Southeast Asian producing countries, where the cash crop has powered economic growth. Indonesia and Malaysia together produce over 80 percent of the world’s palm oil.

More broadly, the EU agreed in June to phase out the use of palm oil in transport fuel from 2030 as part of a broader plan to increase the share of renewables in the bloc’s energy production. The EU is one of the world’s top consumers of palm oil, which is used in a wide range of products from baked goods to detergents.

“This is a most unwelcome decision and goes against the very principles of free and fair trade. The vote by the (French) parliamentarians is alarming and deserves the strongest condemnation,” said Malaysian Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok, news agency Bernama reported.

Indonesia has threatened retaliation numerous times over such a move by the EU, with the country’s trade minister going as far as saying that the EU is asking for a “trade war” with its palm oil curbs, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Versatile and widely used, palm oil has suffered a patchy reputation.

“One of the most significant risks to the palm oil sector resides in its poor sustainability records and negative reputation in developed markets, which pose threats to future demand,” said Fitch Solutions in a recent note. “Although some large plantation companies are making efforts to improve their sustainability records … we note that the reputation of the global palm oil industry has not improved.”

High-profile companies catering to consumers are taking steps to stem any fallout to their businesses.

Other than the EU tightening its regulations, large food and drink companies are moving towards procuring sustainable palm oil in the short term and are putting increasing pressure on their traditional providers that are unable to comply with sustainability standards, added Fitch Solutions.

Food giant Nestle has set a goal to procure 100 percent sustainable certified palm oil by 2020. The Swiss company addresses questions and issues about sustainability on its website, including explaining how they have suspended or ended partnerships with specific suppliers who may have questions hanging over ethical sourcing.

Supply chain clean-up
Due to the bad press, companies have been scrambling to do a more thorough job in tracking their supplies, which many say is a challenge due to long and complex supply chains.

Technology is changing that in many different ways.

Singapore-listed Wilmar, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, announced earlier in December that it will use satellites to monitor suppliers in a fresh attempt to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain.

Another company that has invested in agriculture technology is Singapore-listed Olam which earlier this year launched a platform for customers to check on their supply chains.

Olam is a major supplier of produce such as cocoa used in chocolate-making, edible nuts and palm oil. Major clients include household names like Nestle and Mondelez brand Cadbury that sell consumer products to retail customers, particularly in developed countries where issues of sustainability are under focus.

Using various initiatives, Olam is able to track commodities from farmers and right through middlemen and the supply chain — thus ensuring customers they are buying sustainable produce.

A digital dashboard called AtSource aims to connect customers directly to the source of supply at each stage of the product’s journey, the company said.

Farmer compliance is encouraged through information via a separate app that is passed onto the growers tailored to their locale and needs.

“Farmers are not sitting around waiting to use that app. They will use something only when they believe it makes a difference to their livelihoods,” said Siddharth Satpute, digital global program director at Olam.

For Olam, the use of technology helps not just farmers but also the company, as it gets information transmitted back from growers on what works, and what doesn’t. That helps Olam better manage farms and supply chains.

The app is free for farmers because, as Satpute put it, “they already have low livelihood, we don’t want to make money from them … (when we already) benefit in one way or another.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/11/an-important-food-ingredient-faces-demand-headwinds-as-concerns-over-environment-destruction-bites.html

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See also

ICAO’s CORSIA low standards on biofuels risk undercutting EU’s new renewables rules

The UN’s ICAO is a secretive organisation, that has been woefully ineffective in limiting the CO2 emissions of global aviation. There are considerable concerns that it will try to get bad biofuels certified as low carbon, in order to whitewash the sector’s emissions in future. The global deal, CORSIA, making the first tentative steps towards restricting aviation CO2 at all is just starting. There is, elsewhere, growing understanding that biofuels are generally not the way forward, and their real lifecycle carbon emissions are far higher than their proponents make out. ICAO has now agree 2 criteria (out of 12 possible) for aviation biofuels. These are that there should have been no deforestation after 2009; and there should be at least a saving of 10% of green house gas emissions, (including emissions from indirect land-use change or ILUC) compared to fossil jet kerosene. ICAO’s environment committee will develop rules for what biofuels can be credited – ie. how much of an emissions reduction each biofuel delivers.  The effect can only be accurately accounted for using models. There is a serious danger they will try and include palm oil. And countries like Saudi Arabia are trying to get “lower carbon” fossil fuels included, if their production can be 10% more carbon efficient.  So aviation will continue to emit vast amounts of carbon for decades….

Click here to view full story…

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Report by Biofuelwatch shows Neste, planning to make bio-jet-fuel, is using huge amounts of palm oil

A report by Biofuelwatch reveals that the Finnish biofuel and oil company Neste, which expects to become the world’s biggest producer of aviation biofuels in 2019, relies heavily on palm oil, a leading cause of rainforest destruction. It cannot even guarantee that its palm oil is not sourced from illegal plantations inside a national park. Neste is investing €1.4 billion in new biofuel capacity in its Singapore refinery, which the company plans to turn into a hub for aviation biofuel production. It is already one of the world’s biggest producers of biofuels for road transport. In 2017, Neste used almost 700,000 tonnes of crude palm oil – as fuel – as well as an undisclosed amount of crude palm oil, which the company claims to be ‘wastes and residues’, contrary to legislation in several European countries.  The oil palm plantations and mills supplying Neste are mainly in Indonesian and Malaysian provinces with particularly high deforestation rates linked to palm oil. Some is proven to come from an illegal plantation in a national park in Sumatra. Neste’s sustainability standards take no account of indirect land use change (ILUC) which mean the climate impact of palm oil is x3 as bad as the fossil fuels it replaces. Neste continues to try to hide the fact it is using palm oil, and exacerbating deforestation and biodiversity loss.
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FINLAND’S NESTE SET TO DRIVE AVIATION PALM OIL DEFORESTATION, NEW REPORT SHOWS

9th January 2019

– A report published by the environmental NGO Biofuelwatch [1] reveals that the Finnish biofuel and oil company Neste, which expects to become the world’s biggest producer of aviation biofuels in 2019 [2], relies heavily on palm oil, a leading cause of rainforest destruction, and still cannot guarantee that its palm oil is not sourced from illegal plantations inside a national park.

Neste is investing €1.4 billion in new biofuel capacity in its Singapore refinery, which the company plans to turn into a hub for aviation biofuel production [3]. The company, which is partly owned by the Finnish state, has entered into collaboration agreements with Air BP, Alaska Airlines,  and two US airports, and it is looking for more collaborations in Europe and beyond. Neste is already one of the world’s biggest producers of biofuels for road transport. In 2017, Neste used almost 700,000 tonnes of crude palm oil as well as an undisclosed amount of crude palm oil which the company claims to be ‘wastes and residues’, contrary to legislation in several European countries.

Biofuelwatch’s report shows that the oil palm plantations and mills supplying Neste are concentrated in Indonesian and Malaysian provinces with particularly high deforestation rates linked to palm oil. Although Neste Oil claims that all of its crude palm oil is traceable to plantations which meet its sustainability standards, three separate investigations by WWF and several Indonesian NGOs between 2011 and 2017 showed Neste sourcing from a palm oil mill which was supplied from an illegal plantation inside the Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra [4]. Furthermore, Neste’s sustainability standards take no account of indirect land use change which, as a report written for the European Commission shows, make palm oil three times as bad for the climate as the fossil fuels it replaces [5].

Report author Almuth Ernsting states: “Neste’s investment in Singapore confirms our fears that aviation biofuels will rely on palm oil and therefore worsen deforestation and climate change. Far from guaranteeing transparency and sustainability, Neste continues to keep the amount of palm oil in its fuel a secret, it continues to source from regions with rampant rainforest destruction for palm oil, and it cannot even guarantee to keep palm oil from illegal plantations in a national park out of its supply chain.”

——————— ENDS ———————

Contacts:

Almuth Ernsting: +44-131-623 2600 (UK), biofuelwatch[at]gmail.com

Rachel Smolker: ++1-802 482 2848 (US)

Notes:

[1] biofuelwatch.org.uk/neste-aviation-biofuels

[2] See neste.com/releases-and-news/neste-strengthens-its-global-leading-position-renewable-products-major-investment-singapore

[3] See neste.com/companies/products/renewable-fuels/neste-my-renewable-jet-fuel  

[4] eyesontheforest.or.id/reports/investigative-report-enough-is-enough-jun-2018

[5] ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Final%20Report_GLOBIOM_publication.pdf

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See also:

NESTE: THE FINNISH COMPANY PREPARING TO PUT PALM OIL IN AIRCRAFT FUEL TANKS

9.1.2019 (Biofuelwatch)

Click here
https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Neste-aviation-biofuels-briefing.pdf

to read Biofuelwatch’s report about the Finish biofuel and oil company Neste and its aviation biofuel plans.

Executive Summary:

Neste aims to become the world’s largest aviation biofuel producer in 2019 and to rapidly scale up its production in the next five years. The company is well placed to do so, since it is the world’s biggest producer of biofuels from Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), as well as being an existing supplier of aviation fuels (so far primarily fossil fuels). Hydrotreating is the only technology mature enough and within a price range that is feasible for commercial aviation biofuels. Furthermore, Neste has already signed agreements with several airlines and airports to supply HVO aviation biofuels.

Neste relies heavily on palm oil – both crude palm oil and an extract of crude palm oil called palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD). The company has decided to locate its aviation biofuel production in Singapore, i.e. in the centre of the world’s largest palm oil producing region. Neste claims that its crude palm oil is guaranteed to be ‘sustainable’ and ‘deforestation-free’. Even if this was true, the indirect greenhouse gas emissions of palm oil biofuels are still three times as bad for the climate as those of the fossil fuels they replace. Neste can meet EU sustainability standards for biofuels by sourcing palm oil from older plantations, commonly ones for which rainforest was destroyed before 2008. However, investigations show that Neste cannot even guarantee that all its crude palm oil is free from more recent or ongoing deforestation. At least one of the mills supplying Neste was found to have sourced palm oil from illegal plantations inside a national park in Sumatra during three separate investigations, most recently in 2017.

An undisclosed proportion of Neste’s feedstock – very possibly the majority – consists of PFAD which Neste cannot even trace back to plantations. PFAD is diverted from other users who in turn replace their supply mainly with crude palm oil. This means that the impacts on forests and the climate are very similar whether PFAD or crude palm oil is used. Moreover, further increases in PFAD demand could easily make it more expensive than crude palm oil and thus cause it to directly (rather than indirectly as at present), drive the expansion of oil palm plantations. Neste’s description of PFAD as a ‘residue’ is misleading. PFAD is in fact treated as a food-based biofuel under biofuel legislation in several European countries.

https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2019/neste-aviation-biofuels/

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PFAD

Neste, the world’s leading HVO producer, is lobbying for support for large-scale aviation biofuels[xvii]. Neste uses an undisclosed fraction of crude palm oil, called PFAD, (palm oil fatty distillate) in its HVO biofuels[xviii], which it controversially classes as a ‘residue’. PFAD accounts for around 5% of all crude palm oil, but its share could be increased if demand and prices go up[xix].


See earlier:

 

 

 

Letter to ICAO, from hundreds of organisations, calling on it to oppose the promotion of biofuels in aviation

ICAO supports the aviation industry’s quest for unending rapid growth, a quest which is incompatible with keeping global warming to 1.5oC or even 2oC per (a goal endorsed by the Paris Agreement). Greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation alone grew by 87% between 1990 and 2014 and are rising faster than those from almost any other sector. Efficiency improvements lag far behind growth in the number of air passengers worldwide and there are no available techno-fixes which would allow planes to fly without burning hydrocarbon fuels. ICAO hopes for vast-scale use of biofuels in aircraft: it wants to see 128 million tonnes of biofuels a year being burned in plane engines by 2040, going up to 285 million tonnes (half of all aviation fuel) by 2050. By comparison, some 82 million tonnes of biofuels a year are currently used in transport worldwide.  The only aviation biofuels which can currently be produced reliably and at scale – although they are still expensive – are made from vegetable oils and animal fats, using a technology called hydrotreatment.  Any large-scale use of aviation biofuels made from hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) would almost certainly rely on palm oil. That would be an environmental disaster. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/10/letter-to-icao-from-hundreds-of-organisations-calling-on-it-to-oppose-the-promotion-of-biofuels-in-aviation/

See details of the letter to ICAO from Biofuelwatch signed by hundreds of organisations

 

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Warning at UN Biodiversity Conference that humanity’s rush into biofuels/biomass will devastate global biodiversity

Growing enough plants to provide biomass and biofuels, that are meant to slow climate change (climate breakdown) compared to burning fossil fuels, will need a biofuel land grab: a 10 to 30-fold rise in land devoted to these crops from the level now. This means the destruction of the habitats for plants and animals, seriously undermining the essential global biodiversity. This warning was spelt out at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Egypt by Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of the  Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, IPBES.  The latest IPCC report, on limiting climate warming to 1.5°C, had given “a sense of extreme urgency” for ways to cut CO2 emissions, fast. But this mean “tradeoffs and synergies between climate, biodiversity and land degradation.”  More land would be used for monocultures of plants like maize. Perhaps by 2050 up to 724 million hectares, an area almost the size of Australia, might be used for biofuel crops – compared to perhaps 15 to 30m ha now. There is very little “marginal land” that could be used for these crops (they need water etc, and decent soils). This use of biomass will inevitably have “negative consequences for biodiversity.”  By contrast, reforestation and forest protection helps reduce carbon more effectively. As does cutting energy use. Tragic that the global aviation industry hopes to use huge volumes of biofuel, just so it can keep expanding and creating ever more desire for hyper-mobility, and a sense of entitlement to inter-continental jet travel, largely for leisure and recreation.
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Biofuel land grab will slash nature’s space

Growing enough greenery to provide cleaner fuel and slow climate change will need a biofuel land grab: a 10 to 30-fold rise in land devoted to green crops.

By Alex Kirby (Climate News Network)

LONDON, 21 November, 2018

The costs of replacing fossil fuels with alternatives derived from some natural sources may be prohibitively high: the biofuel land grab needed could require at least 10% more land than the world uses now to grow green crops, conservationists say.

But that’s the good news. They believe the total increase in green energy-related land use could be much higher, closer to 30%, meaning “crushing” pressure on habitats for plants and animals, and undermining the essential diversity of species on Earth.

Their warning was spelt out at a UN biodiversity meeting in Egypt by Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, IPBES.

IPBES says it exists to organise knowledge about the Earth’s biodiversity to offer information for political decisions globally, like the work over the last 30 years of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC.

Extremely urgent

She said the latest IPCC report, on limiting climate warming to 1.5°C, had given “a sense of extreme urgency for these exchanges on tradeoffs and synergies between climate, biodiversity and land degradation.”

Dr. Larigauderie said most IPCC scenarios foresaw a major increase in the land area needed to cultivate biofuel crops like maize (or corn, as it is also known) to slow the pace of warming by 2050 − up to 724 million hectares in total, an area almost the size of Australia. The current amount of land used for biofuel crops is uncertain, but conservationists say it lies somewhere between 15 and 30m ha.

“The key issue here is: where would this huge amount of new land come from”, she asked. “Is there currently such a large amount of ‘marginal land’ available or would this compete with biodiversity? Some scientists argue that there is very little marginal land left.

“Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come”

“This important issue needs to be clarified, but the demand for land for energy will almost certainly increase, with negative consequences for biodiversity.”

Dr. Larigauderie was speaking at the start of the annual conference of the states which support the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Deep cuts in the greenhouse gas emissions from human activities which drive global warming would be possible without massive bioenergy resources, she said, but this would need substantial cuts in energy use as well as rapid increases in the production of low-carbon energy from wind, solar and nuclear power.

Safeguarding the variety of plant and animal species and the services nature provides was itself essential to reducing global warming, she said. Land ecosystems today soak up about a third of annual carbon dioxide emissions, with the world’s oceans accounting for about another quarter annually.

Forests achieve more

In any case, Dr Larigauderie said, reforestation was better at protecting the climatethan most biofuel crops. In temperate climates, one reforested hectare was four times more effective in climate mitigation than a hectare of maize used for biofuel.

“All methods that produce healthier ecosystems should be promoted as a way to combat climate change”, she said. “This includes afforestation and reforestation, as well as restoration − implemented properly using native species, for example.”

IPBES plans to publish a primer detailing elements of its Global Assessment of Biodiversity in May 2019. The British scientist Sir Robert Watson, formerly chair of the IPCC and now chair of IPBES, says: “The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being. Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come.

“Policies, efforts and actions − at every level − will only succeed, however, when based on the best knowledge and evidence. This is what the IPBES Global Assessment provides.” − Climate News Network 

https://climatenewsnetwork.net/biofuel-land-grab-will-slash-natures-space/

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Biofuel land grab will slash nature’s space

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CCC concludes there is limited scope for biofuels for aviation – even that not without risks

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has been looking at the future role of biomass, to try to cut the UK’s CO2 emissions. In their report  they look at how much biofuel the UK aviation sector should be expecting to use by 2050. The AEF has been assessing the CCC report, and say the UK aviation sector cannot rely on biofuel use to offset CO2 emissions growth. Only limited supply of sustainable biomass is likely to be available in future, and it should be used carefully to tackle climate change. The CCC warns that too much hope of biofuel use in future could delay or discourage work on other ways of reducing emissions (i.e. fuel efficiency and limiting demand for flying).” The CCC advises that we shouldn’t plan for aviation biofuel to exceed 10% of total aviation fuel use by 2050. More would risk diverting sustainable biomass from more carbon efficient uses, such as timber for construction, or industrial uses when combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). CO2 released by aircraft in flight cannot be captured. Significant emissions are associated with the manufacture of aviation biofuel from biomass. The CCC says CCS must be used in this biofuel manufacture, or otherwise producing and burning aviation biofuel could result in even higher emissions than simply burning fossil fuels.
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Limited scope for biofuels to cut aviation emissions, concludes CCC

The UK aviation sector cannot rely on biofuel use to offset emissions growth, new analysis from the Committee on Climate Change suggests in its report on biomass in a low carbon economy, published yesterday.

The report considers the limited supply of sustainable biomass likely to be available in future and how this should best be used to tackle climate change.

While “some use of aviation biofuels may be desirable”, the report finds, “planning for high use of biofuel in aviation that does not materialise would risk diluting incentives for other ways of reducing emissions (i.e. fuel efficiency and limiting demand for flying).”

Specifically, the CCC advises that we shouldn’t plan for aviation biofuel to exceed 10% of total aviation fuel use by 2050. Any more than this, they argue, would risk diverting sustainable biomass from more carbon efficient uses, such as timber for construction, or industrial uses when combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

While it is not possible to capture the CO2 released by aircraft in flight, significant emissions are associated even with the manufacture of aviation biofuel, and to the extent that biomass is used for aviation, it essential that CCS technology is used in fuel production process. Producing and burning aviation biofuel without CCS technology could result in higher emissions than simply burning fossil fuels.

Biomass should only be directed towards aviation at significant scale if three key tests are met, the report argues:

  1. Overall levels of abatement from producing and using aviation biofuels must be equal to or better than other biomass best-use applications (see chart above)
  2. Aviation biofuel production plants should be genuinely ‘CCS ready’, and
  3. Biomass use in aviation beyond 10% uptake should be used to reduce emissions below 2005 levels, not as a substitute for other options.

The recommendation is at odds with figures from those advocating for very high levels of biofuel in aviation. The UK industry coalition Sustainable Aviation, for example, which brings together manufacturers, airports, airlines, and air navigation service providers, has long maintained that “sustainable aviation fuel” could plausibly represent 25-40% of global aviation fuel by 2050. And with growing recognition of the challenge posed by aviation in the context of achieving net zero emissions in the coming decades, a recent draft paper from the Energy Transitions Commission argued for a move towards 100% biofuel for aviation in order to decarbonise the sector.

The CCC maintains its longstanding recommendations that aviation CO2 emissions should, by 2050, be no higher than they were in 2005 (37.5 Mt), and that given the likely reductions in the carbon intensity of flying (including from new technology and fuels), this allows for no more than a 60% growth in passenger numbers during that period. Current government forecasts for aviation are that demand will grow by 80% by 2050, and that emissions will reach around 40 Mt, overshooting the 37.5 Mt planning assumption.

The importance of land use emissions

Meanwhile a separate CCC report, also published yesterday, argues for “fundamental changes” in land use. Subsidies currently given to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy should instead be directed at climate mitigation and adaption through measures such as tree planting and the restoration of peatlands, CCC argues. Around 18 Mt CO2e is emitted annually from UK peatlands that have been degraded over time as a result of moor burning for grouse shooting, agriculture and peat extraction for horticulture. The “rewetting” of peatland could prevent 4-11 Mt of CO2 being emitted annually.

Heathrow Airport announced recently that it is investing in a peatland restoration pilot project in Lancashire. If successful, the airport hopes further investment will help it offset the emissions from some of the flights from a third runway. But today’s report shows that peatland restoration is clearly considered by the CCC not to represent an alternative to action on aviation emissions, but as necessary in parallel to meet the UK’s climate commitments. And if this is true even under the Climate Change Act as it stands, it seems very likely that there will be even less room for any growth in aviation emissions under a more stringent UK target in line with the ambitious temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

What’s next?

The CCC will be publishing a more detailed report on land use next year, as well as an update to its 2009 advice on aviation, including a review of its passenger growth and emissions reduction recommendations for the sector. Around the same time, the Committee will publish its advice to the Governments of England, Scotland and Wales on: when the UK should reach net zero emissions; if that target should be set now; the implications for emissions in 2050; and how such reductions can be achieved.

On 30th October CCC launched a call for evidence in relation to this ‘net zero’ report, including on how both low-carbon technologies and behaviour change can be used to help reduce emissions close to zero in difficult sectors such as aviation. Responses are invited by 7thDecember.

Related article

Can biofuel decarbonise aviation?

 


The CCC report 

“Biomass in a low-carbon economy”

by the Committee on Climate Change

November 2018

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AirportWatch comment: 

This is what they say, about the inevitable damage to biodiversity that would be caused by using biomass. They hope that, despite the harm to wildlife, the benefits of reducing the global temperature rise might be of the same “order of magnitude.”  Very sad. And it goes on ….. pretty grim for the future of the rest of life on earth, either way ….

P 65 of report

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DfT, always trying to make aviation growth look “green”, to pay £434,000 to fund waste-to-jetfuel project

A project to turn landfill waste into (quotes) “sustainable” jet fuel has received a major boost by securing almost £5m of funding from the government and industry backers. The DfT has committed £434,000 to fund the next stage of the project, which will involve engineering and site studies to scope potential for a waste-based jet fuel plant in the UK.  This will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste – otherwise destined for landfill – and convert it into jet fuel. The project is being led by biofuels firm Velocys, which has committed £1.5m to the next phase of development. The scheme has also secured a further £3m from industry partners, including Shell and British Airways. BA hopes to use the fuel, to claim it is cutting its carbon emissions (while continuing to grow, burning ever more fuel). The DfT is keen to give the impression that UK aviation expansion is fine, if some biofuels, or alternative fuels, are used. The funding for the Velocys project is part of £22m alternative fuels fund from the government, to advance development of “sustainable” fuels for aviation and freight transport. As of April 2018 renewable jet fuel also qualifies for credits under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). 
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Preparing for take-off? Aviation biofuel research wins £5m boost

British Airways will use the waste-based aviation fuel to cut the carbon impact of flights

By Madeleine Cuff  (Business Green

18th June 2018

A project to turn landfill waste into sustainable jet fuel has received a major boost today, securing almost £5m of funding from the government and industry backers.

The Department for Transport has committed £434,000 to fund the next stage of the project, which will involve engineering and site studies to scope potential for a waste-based jet fuel plant in the UK.

The plant would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of post-recycled waste – otherwise destined for landfill – and convert it to fuel for aeroplanes.

The project is being led by biofuels firm Velocys, which has committed £1.5m to the next phase of development.

The scheme has also secured a further £3m from industry partners, including Shell and British Airways. The airline plans to use the waste-based fuel to help cut its greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft by up to 70 per cent, and particulate matter emissions by up to 90 per cent.

“We are very pleased that the government has recognised the importance of alternative fuels for aviation and has supported our joint project with Velocys which will help to reduce carbon emissions and create UK jobs and growth,” said Alex Cruz, CEO of British Airways.

The funding for the Velocys project is part of £22m alternative fuels fund from the government, to advance development of a new breed of sustainable fuels for aviation and freight transport. Some £2m was awarded to firms today for further research and scoping work, and recipients of this will be invited to bid for a share of £20m for construction work.

As of April 2018 renewable jet fuel also qualifies for credits under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) – a shift that has further boosted the long term commercial viability of a waste jet fuel plant in the UK, Velocys said.

Waste-based jet fuel is widely regarded as a crucial tool for helping to decarbonise the aviation sector. But it is still an expensive alternative to traditional fuels, restricting its use primarily to test flights.

“The waste-to-jet fuel project has the potential to help transform the aviation industry by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the air quality around our country’s airports,” Grayling said in a statement on today’s funding news.

“That is why we are providing support to this important technology as part of our £22m of funding for alternative fuels, which will pave the way for clean growth in the UK.”

But pressure is set to intensify on the government to give the industry more of a helping hand, if plans for a third runway at Heathrow go ahead.

Last week the government’s climate watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change, wrote to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling reminding him the UK’s current legally binding pledge to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 means aviation emissions must be at 2005 levels by 2050.

This “relatively generous” aviation budget represents a doubling of 1990 emissions, but will still require the widespread use of sustainable biofuels by the airline industry and moves by other sectors of the economy to cut their emissions to almost zero, if UK climate targets are to be met the CCC said.

An expansion of airport capacity at Heathrow is likely to require further emissions cuts across aviation and the wider economy, the CCC warned.

The hopes are the latest funding boost for jet biofuels will help revive a fledgling sector that has faced a series of setbacks in recent years.

Most notably, BA previously shelved a £340m green fuels project, citing a lack of support from government.

https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3034313/aviation-biofuel-research-wins-gbp5m-boost

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See earlier:

Solena, the company meant to be producing jet fuel from London waste for BA, goes bankrupt

In February 2010 it was announced that British Airways had teamed up with American bioenergy company Solena Group to establish “Europe’s first” sustainable jet fuel plant, which was set to turn London’d  domestic waste into aviation fuel.  The plan was for BA to provide construction capital for a massive plant somewhere in East London. BA committed to purchasing all the jet fuel produced by the plant, around 16 million gallons a year, for the next 11 years at market competitive prices.  BA had hoped that this 2% contribution to its fuel consumption – the equivalent to all its fuel use at London City airport  – would give it green credibility, and it would claim it cut its carbon emissions.  The timescale for the plant to be built kept slipping.  Nothing has been heard of it for a long time. Now it has been announced that Solena has gone into bankruptcy in the USA. It was never clear why, if genuinely low carbon fuels could be produced from London’s waste, why these should not be used for essential vehicles in London – and why they would instead become a PR exercise for an airline. British Airways and the company Velocys are listed as creditors of Solena.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/solena-the-company-meant-to-be-producing-jet-fuel-from-london-waste-for-ba-goes-bankrupt/

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Earlier:

Location just west of Canvey Island named as BA / Solena plant to make jet fuel from London urban waste

A site for the project, by BA and Solena, to convert landfill waste into jet fuel has finally been announced, after long delays. The site will be in the Thames Enterprise Park, a regeneration project just east of London on the Thames estuary (a few miles west of Canvey Island). The site includes the redundant former Coryton Oil Refinery. Work on building the GreenSky facility is expected to start in 2015 and be completed in 2017.  BA is providing construction capital and has committed to purchasing all the jet fuel produced by the plant, around 16 million gallons a year, for the next 11 years at market competitive prices. BA is hoping that this 2% contribution to its fuel consumption will give it green credibility, and it will claim it cuts its carbon emissions.  In reality, if liquid fuels can be made from urban waste, there is no reason why aviation needs to be the user of them – especially as aviation intends to greatly increase its total fuel consumption in coming decades.  Liquid fuels that can genuinely be considered “sustainable” could be used by any other consumer.  If aviation appropriates these “sustainable” fuels, and uses increasing amounts of fuel, the net effect is that other users have to use high carbon fuels. No net benefit. Other than in (flimsy) green PR terms for BA. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/04/location-just-west-of-canvey-island-named-as-ba-solena-plant-to-make-jet-fuel-from-london-urban-waste/

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British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel from London’s rubbish – announcement soon?

GreenAir online gives an update on the anticipated biofuel plant (costing around $500 million)  to be built in east London, to produce diesel and jet fuel.  GreenAir says that according to British Airways’ a 20-acre (8ha) site has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging.”  GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of London  municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will – they hope – meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport.  BA hope they can claim annual carbon savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.”  “The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne, so the scheme hopes to get the rubbish cheaply – saving councils the landfill tax.  Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel produced by the plant. They hope to start building in early 2015 and start producing fuel in 2017.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/03/british-airways-solena-plant-to-make-jet-fuel-from-londons-rubbish-announcement-soon/ 

 

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UN plans for aviation biofuels (ie. much from palm oil) & carbon offsets condemned by 89 organisations worldwide

89 organisations from 34 countries have called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Agency (ICAO) to ditch plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets, as the Agency’s governing body convenes in Montreal to finalise proposals for a controversial “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme”.  An Open Letter by the groups warns that ICAO’s proposal could incentivise airlines to use large quantities of biofuels made from palm oil in order to meet greenhouse gas targets – even though member states rejected biofuel targets last autumn amidst concerns about palm oil. Proposed biofuel targets for aircraft were rejected by member states in October 2017, but groups fear that the proposed new rules will introduce large-scale biofuel use ‘by the backdoor’.  On sustainability certification for palm oil, “none of the schemes has been effective at slowing down deforestation, peatland draining or the loss of biodiversity”. On carbon offsets, the organisations say “There is no way of reaching the goal to limit global warming to 1.5oC unless all states and sectors rapidly phase out their carbon emissions. This means that there can be no role for offsets”. Instead the growth of the aviation sector needs to be limited – rather than depending on greenwash.

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UN plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets condemned by 89 organisations worldwide

11th June 2018  (Biofuelwatch, Friends of the Earth International, and Global Forest Coalition)
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89 organisations from 34 countries have called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Agency (ICAO) to ditch plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets, as the Agency’s governing body convenes in Montreal to finalise proposals for a controversial “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme” [1].
An Open Letter by the groups [2] warns that ICAO’s proposal could incentivise airlines to use large quantities of biofuels made from palm oil in their tanks in order to meet greenhouse gas targets – even though member states rejected biofuel targets last autumn amidst concerns about palm oil.
Simone Lovera, Executive Director of the Global Forest Coalition, one of the signatories of the Open Letter warns: “Palm oil is one of the main drivers of deforestation worldwide, which is a major cause of carbon emissions, yet we could soon see airlines be rewarded under absurd, industry-friendly UN rules to burn biofuels made from it.”
Proposed biofuel targets for aircraft were rejected by member states in October 2017 [3], but groups fear that the proposed new rules will introduce large-scale biofuel use ‘by the backdoor’.
Nele Mariën from Friends of the Earth International highlights the groups’ concerns about the second part of the UN proposal – carbon offsetting for airlines: “There is no way of reaching the goal to limit global warming to 1.5oC unless all states and sectors rapidly phase out their carbon emissions. This means that there can be no role for offsets”.
The Open Letter urges member states to reject the biofuel and offsetting plans and to end and reverse the growth in aviation.
Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch explains: “Biofuels and carbon offsetting are dangerous attempts at conning consumers and the public by greenwashing an industry which is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. The UN and its members need to tackle aviation growth if they are serious about preventing the worst impacts of climate change.”
 
Contacts:
Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch, +44-1316232600 (UK)
Nele Marien, Friends of the Earth International, ++32-488652153 (Belgium)
 
Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition, ++595-981-407375 (Paraguay)
 
Notes:
[1] The Council of the International Civil Aviation Agency, a specialised UN agency, will be meeting in Montreal from 11th to 29th June. It is due to decide on rules for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction for International Aviation (CORSIA) scheme. The draft rules were published in January: transportenvironment.org/publications/aviation-carbon-offsetting-scheme-icao-circulates-draft-rules .
[2] The Open Letter with the list of signatories can be found at biofuelwatch.org.uk/icao-letter  and is copied below

[3] See transportenvironment.org/press/countries-reject-plan-aviation-biofuels-targets

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OPEN LETTER AGAINST AVIATION BIOFUELS AND OFFSETS TO ICAO COUNCIL

INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION ORGANISATION (ICAO) COUNCIL MUST DITCH BIOFUEL PLANS AND ABANDON THE MYTH OF ‘CARBON NEUTRAL’ GROWTH

Please click here for a pdf with the full list of 89 signatories

From 11th to 29th June 2018, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council will be meeting in Montreal. High up on the agenda are proposed rules for a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). CORSIA is based on the false assumption that carbon emissions from the fast-growing aviation industry can be mitigated through carbon offsetting and biofuels.

During the High-Level ICAO Conference on “Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuels” in October 2017, member states rejected proposed biofuel targets for aviation. At that time, 96 civil society groups had warned that such targets would lead to significantly further expansion of monoculture plantations – most likely oil palm plantations, and thus to more land-grabbing and food price volatility, more deforestation, more biodiversity destruction, more agrochemical use, and pollution of freshwater, without reducing the climate impacts of aviation 1.

Yet even without explicit targets, proposed CORSIA rules could open the door to large-scale use of biofuels in planes.

Proposed CORSIA rules would allow airlines to use any biofuels to try and meet ‘carbon neutral growth’ commitments from 2020, as long as they meet two extremely weak criteria, with no credible mechanism for enforcing even those 2. ICAO’s environment body had previously proposed 17 environmental and social criteria, which might at least have made it much more difficult for airlines to use palm oil. However, as a recent report by Changing Markets illustrates3, there are serious inherent problems with relying on sustainability certification. In relation to palm oil, the report concludes, “none of the schemes has been effective at slowing down deforestation, peatland draining or the loss of biodiversity”.

The only type of biofuels suitable for aircraft that can be reliably produced at scale is based on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), and palm oil (including a fraction of palm oil falsely described as a residue or waste)4, is the favourite feedstock for HVO production because it is the cheapest vegetable oil on the world markets and the cheapest to refine5.

ICAO’s biofuel plans therefore threaten to turn the aviation industry into a new driver of deforestation6 – as well as land-grabbing and land and human rights abuses. At the same time, they do nothing to address the ever-growing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, linked to the industry’s unending growth.

It is even more worrying that – besides biofuels – ICAO’s CORSIA will allow airlines to achieve so-called “neutrality” through the use of carbon offsets. ICAO’s carbon offset plans were denounced by 80 civil society organisations in 20167. In January 2018, Virgin Atlantic pulled out of a forest carbon offset project in Cambodia after high levels of deforestation as well as serious human rights abuses were revealed in the project area – meaning the aviation emissions were not being offset at all8. Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident, and airlines can expect more and more of these cases to be exposed as the industry’s use of offsets expands.

The future of offsetting is even further in doubt because achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement requires all states and all sectors to cut their emissions to zero. There is therefore no role for a mechanism where one sector avoids emission cuts by paying other sectors to cut theirs.

Finally, there are even proposals to allow fossil-fuels to be classified as ‘sustainable aviation fuels’ and to be credited under CORSIA. This could mean kerosene from oil refineries where heat and power come from burning wood, which is falsely classified as carbon neutral (which would put yet more pressures on forests) – or kerosene sourced from oil wells that require less energy to drill than others, would be classed as sustainable.

We urge the members of the ICAO Council to reject CORSIA mechanism, which is based on the false solutions of biofuels and offsetting plan – and which may even reward fossil fuel companies directly – and to take the aim of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.50C seriously, which cannot be achieved unless aviation growth is ended and reversed.

 


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European Environment Agency: Reducing CO2 emissions from aviation ‘requires systemic change’ to cut demand

The EEA (European Environment Agency) says reducing CO2 emissions from Europe’s aviation and shipping industries requires systemic change, rather than simply improving efficiency. In a new report they say a massive shift in innovation, consumer behaviour and the take up of more ambitious green technologies to power aircraft and cargo ships are crucial. Both aviation and shipping have grown fast in recent years, and by 2050, the two are anticipated to contribute almost 40% of global CO2 emissions unless further mitigation is taken. Incremental small improvements in fuel efficiency will not be enough. For air travel, changes in lifestyle and culture are needed eg. more shift to rail and less demand for material imported material goods. Governments have a key role to play. The role of continuing subsidies to the aviation industry is important in maintaining high demand for air travel. There needs to be a change to the “attitude-action gap” whereby expressed “environmental  awareness by individuals does not translate into reductions in flight demand.” … ” there will be a need for wider conversations around the types of lifestyle that will help enable sustainable mobility”. They are not convinced aviation biofuels will be anything more than minimal.
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European Environment Agency: Reducing emissions from seas and skies ‘requires systemic change’

1.2.2018
By Jonny Bairstow (Energy Live News)

Reducing emissions from Europe’s aviation and shipping industries requires systemic change, rather than simply improving efficiency.

That’s according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), which suggests a massive shift in innovation, consumer behaviour and the take up of more ambitious green technologies to power aircraft and cargo ships is crucial.

The two sectors have seen tremendous growth over past years as the global economy boomed, causing a surge in trade and travel.

By 2050, global aviation and shipping are anticipated to contribute almost 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions unless further mitigation is taken.

The report says incremental measures such as improving fuel efficiency will not be enough for these sectors to meet European green targets and says a more systemic change is needed.

For example, it suggests changes in lifestyle and culture are needed, such as shifting to rail transport or electric vehicles instead of aviation or by reducing demand for material goods and thus shipping.

The report says the long lifespan of airplanes and vessels can hamper a faster shift to cleaner technologies.

It adds governments have a key role to play by supporting investment in research, product standards and subsidies for new emerging technologies and to spur the sharing of data and information on the viability of new technologies.

http://www.energylivenews.com/2018/02/01/reducing-emissions-from-seas-and-skies-requires-systemic-change/

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European Environment Agency

Aviation and shipping — impacts on Europe’s environment TERM 2017
Publication Created 29 Jan 2018

Published 31 Jan 2018

Topics: Transport Climate change mitigation Sustainability transitions

EEA Report No 22/2017

This report introduces several methods the European Environment Agency (EEA) has developed for assessing and communicating early RES growth and the important knock-on effects that RES growth has on the energy sector and related areas. The report provides specific information at EU and country level on estimated RES progress in 2013, estimated gross avoided carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and avoided fossil fuel use due to the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, as well as an assessment of the statistical impacts of growing RES use on primary energy consumption.

Content

Report at

Aviation and shipping TERM 2017.pdf [965.2 KB]

Domestic and international aviation and shipping are key components of Europe’s mobility system. They are both economic sectors that directly bring many societal and economic benefits, such as the delivery of a wide range of goods and services and provision of employment and mobility for personal leisure or business purposes. However, from the broader environmental perspective, both sectors are also seen as challenging, because increasing demand within each of the sectors is exerting increasing pressures on the environment and climate. Their joint consideration in this TERM 2017 report also reflects key similarities, opportunities and challenges between them

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/term-report

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On biofuels the report says (Page 30):

In 2011, the European Advanced Biofuels Flightpath (EABF) was developed to help drive the increased uptake of biofuels in Europe’s aviation sector. The EABF had a goal of producing 2 million tonnes of sustainable biofuel for civil aviation by 2020. This is unlikely to be achieved, however, because of both the competition in demand for such alternative fuels and
the lack of dedicated biomass-to-liquid production facilities in Europe. Further, concerns over indirect land use changes from sustainable aviation fuels are also under discussion. Presently, the projected supply of biofuels into the aviation sector in 2020 is just  0.05 million tonnes (EASA et al., 2016).
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