WWF: ICAO forgoes immediate emissions reductions for only promise of a future global plan

In their response to the disappointing outcome of the ICAO negotiations on curbing global aviation emissions, WWF said ICAO had missed the opportunity to start reducing emissions immediately. They have only committed to possibly agree an MBM in 2016, to come into effect in 2020. There is no guarantee they will agree it.  This means little will be done before 2020. WWF said the science is clearer than ever – and 2020 is too late.  Jean Leston, Transport Policy Officer of WWF-UK, said: “The world has waited 16 years for ICAO to demonstrate its serious commitment to reducing aviation emissions. What we got today seems a very small return for that effort. We expect a lot more ambition and commitment from ICAO over the next three years if a global, market-based mechanism is ever going to materialize. …..By essentially restricting the EU’s ETS for aviation to its own carriers and airspace, ICAO has handicapped the world’s leading legislation to put a price on aviation pollution and once again allowed skyrocketing emissions to continue climbing.” With the IPCC saying we need to cut CO2, leaders need to be taking every opportunity to do so.  

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WWF: ICAO Forgoes Immediate Emissions Reductions for Promise of a Future Global Plan

MONTREAL (October 4, 2013)

Delegates to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) today promised to start work on developing a global, market based measure (MBM) to reduce aviation emissions beginning in 2020, but in doing so missed the opportunity to start reducing emissions immediately and contribute to closing the ambition gap before 2020.

“The science is clearer than ever – 2020 is too late,” said Samantha Smith, WWF leader of the Global Climate & Energy Initiative.  “Right after the recent IPCC release, this was the first chance for governments in ICAO to take decisive action, and they failed.”

“The world has waited 16 years for ICAO to demonstrate its serious commitment to reducing aviation emissions,” said Jean Leston, Transport Policy Officer of WWF-UK. “What we got today seems a very small return for that effort. We expect a lot more ambition and commitment from ICAO over the next three years if a global, market-based mechanism is ever going to materialize.”

“While ICAO delegates and the airline industry will be crowing about the significant progress they have made this week, the reality is that today’s decision does nothing to reduce emissions in the short term. By essentially restricting the EU’s Emissions Trading System for aviation to its own carriers and airspace, ICAO has handicapped the world’s leading legislation to put a price on aviation pollution and once again allowed skyrocketing emissions to continue climbing.”

“Today’s decision commits delegates only to the possibility of an MBM agreement in by 2016. There is no guarantee. At a time when the world’s leading climate scientists are telling us that that climate change is real and is happening faster than expected, international leaders must capitalize on every immediate opportunity to ratchet down emissions.”

http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/press_centre/?uNewsID=6831

 

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see also

EU Emissions Trading System reduced to only intra-European flights

Date added: October 4, 2013

The EU was defeated in its efforts to have ICAO recognise its right to continue charging aviation in its own market-based mechanism, the ETS. Earlier this month the EU offered to exclude emissions emitted outside EU airspace from being covered by the ETS in exchange for a deal at ICAO. Even this did not happen. “ICAO is going even beyond what the Chicago Convention allows,” said Bill Hemmings of campaign group T&E. “They’re telling the EU what it can do in its own airspace.” A spokesperson for the Commission said the EU would have to consider its next steps. Any change to the ETS scope, whether to exclude non-EU airspace or to go further and exclude all foreign airlines, would need approval from member states and the European Parliament. The European aviation industry would be likely to fiercely resist any move to exclude foreign airlines but leave them included, as it would raise competitiveness concerns. Green MEPs reacted with dismay to the ICAO outcome. “The international aviation organisation (ICAO) is both seeking to block EU action and once more stalling on urgently-needed international measures”.   Click here to view full story…

 

Weak ICAO aviation emissions deal with action delayed till at least 2016 strikes harsh blow to EU ETS

Date added: October 4, 2013

The ICAO talks in Montreal are now closed. ICAO cobbled together a weak resolution, that lays the foundation for a Market Based Measure (MBM) perhaps some time in future. This is to be brought to the next ICAO Assembly in 2016. ie more years of delay. The resolution states that, if an agreement on a global MBM is decided upon at the next Assembly, it must be implemented by 2020 – the year after which any growth within the industry must be carbon neutral. Jean Leston, Transport Policy Manager at WWF-UK, said: “There is nothing in this resolution that guarantees an MBM. All we’ve got is a decision to develop one over the next 3 years and then that has to go to Assembly for agreement in 2016.” Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said, “The EU put its faith in the ICAO process, and because of unacceptable weakening and delay, this faith has now been shattered.” The ICAO agreement has also decimated the EU’s ETS, which has been reduced to the bare minimum. The EU can now only impose its ETS on flights that both depart and land from within its own airspace. For aircraft emissions emitted in EU airspace by planes that have come from outside the EU, this can only be done with the consent of the other country.   Click here to view full story…

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And from ATW (Air Transport World):

4.10.2013

“The agreement also puts in place a fair and equitable solution that respects the special circumstances and respective capabilities in which a number of countries find themselves. Aviation accounts for 3% of global CO2 emissions but ICAO statistics show that international aviation CO2 emissions are forecast to increase between four and six times by 2050 from the levels of 2010.”

EC VP Transport Siim Kallas said, “Faced with a huge responsibility, this Assembly has set the agenda for world aviation for the years to come. The EU can take pride in our role in the achievements in all areas ranging from safety, to security, air traffic management and economic regulation. On aviation emissions, this is a landmark deal. It is good news for the travelling public, good news for the aviation industry and most importantly it is good news for the planet.”

The ICAO emissions resolution permits countries or groups of countries, within certain parameters, to deploy their own MBMs in the interim if they choose. But it prevents the EU from expanding its ETS to include foreign carriers until the global scheme is in place, a contentious issue that the EC appears to have backed away from as a concession to enabling a global aviation MBM scheme.

 

http://atwonline.com/eco-aviation/icao-assembly-reaches-aviation-emissions-accord

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Weak ICAO aviation emissions deal with action delayed till at least 2016 strikes harsh blow to EU ETS

The ICAO talks in Montreal are now closed.  ICAO cobbled together a weak resolution, that lays the foundation for a Market Based Measure (MBM) perhaps some time in future.  This is to be brought to the next ICAO Assembly in 2016.  ie more years of delay. The resolution states that, if an agreement on a global MBM is decided upon at the next Assembly, it must be implemented by 2020 – the year after which any growth within the industry must be carbon neutral.  Jean Leston, Transport Policy Manager at WWF-UK, said: “There is nothing in this resolution that guarantees an MBM. All we’ve got is a decision to develop one over the next 3 years and then that has to go to Assembly for agreement in 2016.” Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said, “The EU put its faith in the ICAO process, and because of unacceptable weakening and delay, this faith has now been shattered.” The ICAO agreement has also decimated the EU’s ETS, which has been reduced to the  bare minimum.  The EU can now only impose its ETS on flights that both depart and land from within its own airspace.   For aircraft emissions emitted in EU airspace by planes that have come from outside the EU, this can only be done with the consent of the other country.
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UN aviation emissions deal strikes harsh blow to EU trading scheme

4 October 2013  (RTCC – Responding to Climate Change)

UN deal sets emissions reduction scheme in motion, but EU trading scheme crushed in series of vitriolic negotiations

Souce: Flickr / Vyacheslav Bondaruk

By Sophie Yeo

The UN’s aviation body voted on a resolution today that lays the foundations of a market based mechanism (MBM) to curb emissions, at the same time as laying waste to the EU’s own emissions trading scheme.

After a heated debate in Montreal yesterday, ICAO resolved on a text that instructs states to develop a global market based mechanism to be brought to the next General Assembly, which will take place in 2016.

This was finally approved today after a week of intense negotiations, which observers have called “unprecedented” within ICAO.

Many consider this a positive step forward: the issue of how to implement an MBM has been one of the central points of contention since the Kyoto Protocol instructed the UN aviation body to come up with a way to regulate the emissions of the industry back in 1997.

Despite on-going discussions and long term efforts by the EU to broker an environmentally effective deal, there are countries on the other side of the debate that have shown scant willingness to compromise.

The resolution states that, if an agreement on a global MBM is decided upon at the next Assembly, it must be implemented by 2020 – the year after which any growth within the industry must be carbon neutral. It is a deadline which puts added pressure on ICAO to reach an agreement by 2016.

Annie Petsonk from EDF, speaking from Montreal, emphasises that in many ways this is a step forward for the agency.

She tells RTCC, “They’ve set upon a timetable for the negotiation of it. They’re gone quite a way with developing a set of principles of it. We think all those things are very significant.

“Are they a giant leap? No, because it’s just initiating talks and we’ve seen talks be initiated in ICAO before, but these have a time-bound deadline of the next ICAO assembly and there’s been quite a lot of technical work done, so they have a good foundation on which to proceed.”

For some, this deadline of 2016 isn’t soon enough. Emissions from aviation are responsible for 4.9% of manmade climate change, and these are growing faster than any other mode of transport. If unmitigated, these emissions are projected to double or even triple by 2050.

A recent paper by David Lee from Manchester Metropolitan University showed that implementing a market based mechanism quickly was the best way to minimise global warming.

Jean Leston, Transport Policy Manager at WWF-UK, tells RTCC: “There is nothing in this resolution that guarantees an MBM. All we’ve got is a decision to develop one over the next three years and then that has to go to Assembly for agreement in 2016.”

Bill Hemmings, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said, ““The EU put its faith in the ICAO process, and because of unacceptable weakening and delay, this faith has now been shattered. The science is crystal clear – we can no longer afford to procrastinate if we want to reverse the effects of man-made climate change.”

EU ETS

Negotiations began on Thursday last week, but when countries failed to reach a consensus they were pushed forward to recommence last Wednesday, after a weekend of informal bilateral conversations.

Those speaking to RTCC from the sidelines of the negotiations in Montreal highlight that it has not been an easy week. Emotions have been running high, with the EU in particular taking a beating from countries that are opposed to its regional emissions trading scheme (ETS) proposal.

The final agreement was a considerable blow to the EU’s regional scheme, reducing it to the bare minimum, and going beyond the compromise that the EU had already put on the table last month.

Under the new resolution, the EU may only impose its ETS on flights that both depart and land from within its own airspace.

If it wants to trade the emissions emitted over its own airspace by aircrafts that have come from outside of the EU, it may now only do so with the consent of the other country.

“Certainly yesterday morning saw scenes here I don’t think ICAO has ever seen before,” says Leston. “There was just an incredible outpouring of dislike of the EU ETS, very aggressive interventions from a lot of states, and an almost overwhelming antipathy towards the ETS. You could really smell blood in the room.”

Petsonk adds: “There is clearly an effort to try to push back on a state’s ability to implement a national and regional MBM, and we regarded that as half a step back.”

Leston says that, although this is a blow to the EU, she believes that it will have much to contribute as the global MBM is developed.

She says, “We’ve seen the environmental leader brought down by the pack, but I think once the dust has settled the EU still has a lot to offer in international negotiations.

“This is the only system that’s up and running, and proves that cap-and-trade can work. In the next three years there’s going to be a lot of work to design and develop an MBM, and the EU experience is going to be vital in helping to deliver an MBM.”

Reservations

Another reservation to the final text was the concern shown for “common but differentiated responsibilities” shown within the resolution, which excludes states with less than a 1% share of total civil international aviation activities – a principle enshrined within the UNFCCC, but excluded from the Chicago Convention, which established the modern aviation industry.

Excluding these countries would ultimately make an aviation deal less effective, as it would exempt all but around 20 of the world’s countries from taking part in the global trading scheme.

The large scale disagreement over the issue of equity bodes ill for negotiations between developed and developing states at the upcoming UN climate talks in both Warsaw this November and Paris in 2015, for which the ICAO discussions are an important precursor.

Leston told RTCC, “I think we would have really liked to see more progress on the ground here in Montreal, going forwards into the COP in Warsaw through to Paris, because a positive outcome from ICAO would have been a really positive force for the good going into the UNFCCC climate talks.

“The fact that we’ve had such a tiny step forward and we’ve seen so much division between developing and developed countries over highly politicised issues such as common but differentiated responsibilities really does not bode well for the future climate talks.

“International negotiations really must move beyond entrenched positions if we’re ever to solve climate change. The more states act out of self-interest and seek not to take action, the more trouble we’re headed for in the future.”

http://www.rtcc.org/2013/10/04/un-aviation-emissions-deal-strikes-harsh-blow-to-eu-trading-scheme/

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By contrast, Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissioner, tried to put a brave face on a bad result:

 

“The EU’s hard work has paid off. After so many years of talks, ICAO has finally agreed to the first-ever global deal to curb aviation emissions”

04/10/2013

Airplane in blue sky © Stockbyte/John Foxx

The European Commission today welcomed the decision by the UN Assembly responsible for International Civil Aviation (ICAO) to decide on a global mechanism to tackle emissions from aviation. The Assembly has agreed to develop by 2016 a global market based mechanism to tackle emissions, which can come into force in 2020. The market based mechanism will be accompanied by a series of technical and operational measures to reduce emissions. With this deal, the aviation industry becomes the first international transport sector to apply a global market-based mechanism to reduce their emissions.

EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, said: ”The EU’s hard work has paid off. After so many years of talks, ICAO has finally agreed to the first-ever global deal to curb aviation emissions. If it hadn’t been for the EU’s hard work and determination, we wouldn’t have got this decision today to create a global market-based measure. What matters to us is that the aviation sector also contributes to our efforts to reduce emissions. While we would have liked more countries to accept our regional scheme, progress was made overall and we will now factor this in when, together with the member states and the European Parliament, we decide on the way forward with the EU ETS.”

The Agreement

The UN Assembly has agreed to develop, by 2016, a global MBM for international aviation that can start in 2020. Until then countries or groups of countries should – within certain parameters – be able to deploy MBMs.

The market based measures will go hand in hand with new procedures to promote more advanced technology, including the use of better alternative aviation fuels and to promote better procedures, including in the area of air navigation.

The agreement also puts in place a fair and equitable solution that respects the special circumstances and respective capabilities in which a number of countries find themselves.

Aviation accounts for 3% of global CO2 emissions but ICAO statistics show that international aviation CO2 emissions are forecast to increase between 4 and 6 times by 2050 from the levels of 2010.

What happens next?

In the light of this agreement, the European Commission,, in coordination with the European Parliament and the EU Member States, will now assess the decision taken today at ICAO in more detail before deciding on the next steps with respect to the EU ETS.

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/hedegaard/headlines/news/2013-10-04_01_en.htm

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U.N. Aviation Body Agrees on Emissions Deal

By Valerie Volcovici and Barbara Lewis MONTREAL/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United Nations’ civil aviation body has reached outline agreement on a global scheme to curb airline carbon emissions, casting a shadow over a rival EU plan to lower pollution from planes.

Reuters

 

By Valerie Volcovici and Barbara Lewis

MONTREAL/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United Nations’ civil aviation body has reached outline agreement on a global scheme to curb airline carbon emissions, casting a shadow over a rival EU plan to lower pollution from planes.

The executive committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed late on Thursday on a roadmap to create the world’s first global, market-based scheme by 2020.

The full assembly of ICAO delegates still has to vote later on Friday on the plan, which would also need agreement on further detail at the next ICAO general assembly in three years.

The European Union had sought a much more robust agreement as well as a framework to shore up its own Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which is central to its climate policy and requires all airlines using EU airports to pay for emissions.

Analysts say the European Parliament, which is opposed to a weak deal, could reject the Montreal package, risking an upsurge in trade war threats that pitched the European Union against the rest of the world last year.

The United States, together with emerging powers such as India and China, have been the most critical of the extension of ETS to airlines, saying it is a breach of sovereignty and a global alternative is needed.

U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern welcomed the Montreal deal.

“After some very challenging discussions, including compromises by all parties, ICAO has made a strong commitment in favor of taking multilateral action to tackle climate change,” he said.

European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the deal showed “the EU’s hard work is paying off”.

“We will now look at how to proceed up to 2020 with our EU ETS,” she said in a statement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one EU official admitted its negotiating delegation in Montreal was bruised.

Analysts said the deal limited the ETS to intra-EU flights, reducing its coverage by about 60 percent, and risked more legal challenges to the scheme on competition grounds.

Low-cost airlines, operating almost exclusively EU flights, have already begun legal proceedings.

“It would appear that none of the EU red lines, spelt out unequivocally at the time of granting the ‘stop the clock’ derogation (suspension), will be met by the outcome,” John Hanlon, secretary general of the European Low Fares Airline Association, told Reuters.

“The EU compromise offer of inclusion of emissions from international flights in EU airspace looks to be rejected in its entirety. This leaves intra-EU ETS totally ineffective environmentally, capturing only a fraction of EU aviation emissions of CO2.”

TRADE WAR THREATS

When the European Union suspended its aviation law for a year, it said the requirement for all aviation, not just internal EU flights, to pay for emissions would be reimposed automatically unless the ICAO agrees a robust market-based measure.

The ETS, which covers big polluters such as power generators and heavy industry, as well as aviation, has sunk this year to record low levels under a burden of surplus allowances.

It was trading down 0.4 percent at 5.18 euros a tonne by 9:22 a.m. ET.

Traders said the market impact was modest because the aviation sector’s inclusion in the ETS was already reduced, but it sent a very weak signal on any potential to extend the ETS.

The European Parliament will have to act quickly if it is to endorse any extension of the European Commission’s decision to “stop the clock” on its law in time for an April 2014 deadline when the European Commission would resume demanding carbon allowances.

German Christian Democrat politician Peter Liese, who steered the original law through the European Parliament and led the debate on the “stop the clock” law, said he could not comment immediately on Friday.

(Additional reporting by Tom Koerkemeier in Brussels, Gerard Wynn and Ben Garside in London; Editing by Christopher Wilson and David Cowell)

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=un-aviation-body-agrees-on-emissions

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Concern at ICAO talks that Britain, France and Germany are prepared to water down EU’s position on aviation emissions

As the climate talks in Montreal drag on, with a draft text expected this Friday or Saturday, it appears there could be an impact of some of the US negotiators having to fly home – as being government employees, their offices have been closed down due to lack of funding. The US has been one of the biggest obstacles to finding an agreement, so the absence of some may have a positive impact.  A very weak draft deal presented this week has been described as a “dream come true” for airlines. It will not allow the EU to cover overflights – flights that do not land or take off from somewhere in the EU – without mutual agreement. This would mean the ETS could only cover sovereign airspace and not regional airspace as previously announced. It appears that the UK, France and Germany are prepared to water down the EU’s position as a way to strike a global deal, afraid of a trade war. There is concern that this would damage the whole ETS and not be agreed by the European Parliament.
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US govt shutdown could accelerate aviation emission agreement

 2 October 2013 (RTCC)
US delegation head home, but analysts warn current deal on table is not ambitious enough and will be a ‘hollow’ agreement
By Nilima Choudhury
The absence of key US negotiators due to the government shutdown may ensure a more ambitious aviation emissions deal is agreed in Montreal this week say analysts.
The Obama administration closed down all non-essential operations on Tuesday after Congress failed to agree a new budget deal.
“The US shutdown is actually good because half of the US has had to fly home apparently and the weaker the US aviation the better for the climate so that’s kind of a nice benefit,” said Aoife O’Leary from NGO Transport & Environment, who is in Montreal.
“The US has been leading all the negative charge on this and they’re getting exactly what they want at the moment and even the countries that have been quite moderate in ICAO [have] joined in line behind the US. So it’s looking pretty bleak.”
It’s currently unclear how many of the US delegation have departed. RTCC has asked the State Department to confirm how many (if any) have left.
The UN-sponsored talks at ICAO involve envoys from 190 countries are aimed at developing a market based mechanism (MBM) for the global aviation industry that would reduce emissions.
The US has been historically opposed to any such deal, and vehemently opposed EU efforts in 2012 to unilaterally place all flights in and out of Europe under its own emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Weak proposals
The EU has been pushing for ambitious deal to impose a carbon tax on all airlines using its airspace, but a draft deal presented this week suggests that was optimistic.
Described as a “dream come true” for airlines by O’Leary, it will not allow the EU to cover overflights – flights that do not land or take off from somewhere in the EU – without mutual agreement. This would mean the ETS could only cover sovereign airspace and not regional airspace as previously announced.
The draft text is expected to be finalised either Friday or Saturday this week.
“It is not clear yet how the EU would deal with this,” said O’Leary, “because it would make a big mess of the ETS. Unfortunately it seems that this will be the text that the majority agree to in the end.”
An alleged breach of airspace is one of the main objections by other countries.
“The argument all along about the ETS is it violates other countries sovereignty because we’re regulating the carbon emitted on someone else’s runway which is bullshit because nobody else was ever going to regulate that carbon anyway and it’s not like they’re particularly attached to that carbon – they don’t want anyone to do it,” said O’Leary.
“Even if every country in the world created their own airspace regime 78% of aviation emissions would still be unregulated due to the huge amount of carbon that is emitted over the high seas.”
Carbon budget
These talks have gained added significance this week with the release this week of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
It warned the world can absorb approximately 1000GT of greenhouse gases — of which humans have already used up about two thirds.
Countries are expected to discuss the ‘budget’ at next month’s UN climate talks in Warsaw, but with aviation emissions expected to rise rapidly between now at 2050, the ICAO talks are seen as hugely important.
Some scientists say pollution from planes could be more damaging to the environment because of the altitude they are released, meaning carbon dioxide at that height could have greater ‘radiative forcing’.
Speaking from Montreal, WWF transport policy manager Jean Leston said any sense of urgency was “completely lacking”.
She added: “Given the level of dissention I’ve seen on the ground here, it’s going to be a very uphill task if you’re ever going to get an MBM.
 http://www.rtcc.org/2013/10/02/us-govt-shutdown-could-accelerate-aviation-emission-agreement/#sthash.3EZ8TUJh.dpuf

 

Top EU powers backing down over aviation emissions

By Barbara Lewis and Valerie Volcovici
BRUSSELS/MONTREAL, Oct 2 (Reuters) -
Britain, France and Germany are prepared to water down the EU’s position on aviation emissions as a way to strike a global deal, after some regions threatened a trade war when the EU imposed restrictions on its own, sources close to the talks said.
But the sources said the shift could jeopardise the EU’s carbon trading scheme – the central plank of its climate policy – and put the three countries on a collision course with the European Parliament, which could reintroduce the EU emissions restrictions if it is not happy with a global deal.
“These three countries – France, Germany and Britain – are putting the whole deal at stake,” one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is meeting in Montreal to try to resolve the global row, which was sparked when the EU introduced a law making airlines using EU airports pay for their carbon emissions. Two weeks of talks are slated to end on Friday.
The outcome will have implications for international relations, aviation competitiveness and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which is already struggling under a burden of surplus carbon allowances.
The EU introduced its law after a decade of ICAO talks failed to reach a deal on aviation emissions, which account for 5 percent of global warming, according to U.N. data, and are expected to triple by 2050.
But, after international outrage, the bloc agreed to suspend for one year its law for intercontinental flights.
Sources close to the matter said Britain, France and Germany – which represent some of the EU’s biggest aviation interests, including IAG, Airbus, Deutsche Lufthansa and Air France-KLM – were instrumental in agreeing to the delay, and were ready to back down again.
While the three powers dominate the European Council of member states, they have less influence in the European Parliament, which has said it needs a strong deal.
NEARLY 200 COUNTRIES TO APPEASE
Negotiators from 191 countries are debating a global market-based measure by 2020, plus a framework on regional schemes for the interim.
That proposal was supported by the 36-member ICAO governing council in early September as the basis for talks at the ICAO general assembly, which concludes on Friday.
The framework is needed to allow the EU ETS, the only existing regional scheme that applies to foreign carriers, to continue to function until 2020.
Parts of the framework for what will transpire between now and 2020 have drawn fierce opposition from the United States, Singapore, Russia, Brazil and emerging economies.
Michel Wachenheim, France’s ICAO representative and president of the two-week assembly, unveiled a revised negotiating text Wednesday morning with drastically watered-down framework language.
Wachenheim tried to mesh input from key nations and blocs of countries he met with over the past five days, especially surrounding concerns about the framework for interim measures.
The new text says that “mutual consent” is needed if a regional scheme is found to cover flights that do not depart or land within that region, or if the scheme is “intended to cover any portion of those flights beyond the national airspaces of the States concerned.”
The revised text also tried to address festering concerns about which countries would be exempt from complying with regional schemes.
The United States had suggested an approach which appears in the new text, exempting airlines based on routes rather than country, and based on a hard number of so-called “revenue ton kilometers” (RTKs) that gets reduced each year after 2014. That would replace an earlier plan to exempt countries that account for less than 1 percent of global RTKs.
Englebert Zoa Etundi, Cameroon’s representative to ICAO, who represents the African bloc of negotiators, told Reuters last week that the 1 percent threshold was necessary to protect African air passengers and Africa’s burgeoning airline industry.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
Britain and Germany declined to say whether they backed a watered down deal, while the French government was not immediately available to comment.
“The UK is continuing to work closely with EU and international partners to achieve an ambitious package toward a global market-based aviation emissions measure by 2020, plus a framework on regional schemes which allows the EU ETS to continue to function in the interim,” Britain’s department of energy and climate change said.
An EU official said ICAO’s executive committee continues to debate the text, and may vote on the changes on Thursday. Should the text win committee approval it would be sent to the entire plenary for approval on Friday – in theory, the final day of the meeting.
European Commission spokeswoman Helen Kearns said any agreement was unlikely before the very end of the talks.
“Europe has already been extremely flexible in agreeing to stop the clock,” she told reporters. “In doing this we avoided a probable trade war. We now have a very important window of opportunity between now and Friday.”
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/02/uk-eu-icao-idUKBRE99112T20131002

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Stunned by IPCC report’s content, Wall Street Journal weather man tweets his last flight – given up flying, for the sake of the climate

Last Friday, New York meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who works for the Wall Street Journal covering weather, posted an article explaining the newly released IPCC climate report. The gist of the article, as encapsulated by its headline was “The world’s best scientists agree: On our current path, global warming is irreversible—and getting worse”. He was so stunned by the IPCC report’s content that he broke down in tears, and said that to cut his own carbon footprint substantially, he live-tweeted his final flight. He said “I’ve never cried because of a science report before.” And “I realized, just now: This has to be the last flight I ever take. I’m committing right now to stop flying. It’s not worth the climate.” He realised, at San Francisco Airport that his current lifestyle was no longer sustainable — or conscionable. He felt what was needed was drastic and immediate cuts to CO2 emissions. Holthaus found, on a carbon calculator, that his CO2 from flying some 75,000 miles per year put his carbon footprint at around double the average American. He plans to use rail, Skype and other electronic forms of contact for meetings.

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http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/wp-content/blogs.dir/1898/files/2013/09/holthaus2.jpg

One meteorologist explains why he won’t fly again

SEP 30, 2013 (Salon.com  – USA)

After breaking down in tears over the new climate report, Eric Holthaus live-tweeted his final flight

BY LINDSAY ABRAMS

Last Friday, meteorologist Eric Holthaus posted an article to Quartz explaining the newly released IPCC climate report. The gist of the article, as encapsulated by its headline (“The world’s best scientists agree: On our current path, global warming is irreversible—and getting worse”) was far from optimistic. But then Holthaus, who until recently covered weather for the Wall Street Journal, did something surprising. He turned to Twitter to declare that, on the heels of the report, he was going to take drastic action to reduce his own carbon footprint:

I just broke down in tears in boarding area at SFO while on phone with my wife. I’ve never cried because of a science report before. #IPCC

— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 27, 2013

I realized, just now: This has to be the last flight I ever take. I’m committing right now to stop flying. It’s not worth the climate.

— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 27, 2013

Speaking over the phone with Salon from his home in Viroqua, Wis., where he’s grounded himself, Holthaus described the emotional moment at San Francisco International Airport when he realized that his current lifestyle was no longer sustainable — or conscionable.

What changed, Holthaus said, was the report’s acknowledgment that high-tech geoengineering solutions weren’t going to have an impact on climate change. Two things he had seen as potential answers to the climate problem — either launching a massive solar shade into orbit to block 5 percent of the sun’s rays, or installing fake plastic trees to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere — were both dismissed out of hand. All 195 countries that approved the report agree with scientists that the time and scope needed for such measures wasn’t feasible. On the phone with his wife, Holthaus despaired: “That was our chance, and it’s gone.”

What the IPCC report did find could be effective, said Holthaus, are drastic and immediate cuts to CO2 emissions. On first glance, Holthaus was already doing a lot. He recycles and doesn’t own a car. He’s also a vegetarian. But despite doing “pretty much [what] everyone’s always told me to do,” when he plugged his lifestyle into a carbon footprint calculator, he found that his CO2 emissions were still double that of the average American. Doing almost everything else “right” wasn’t enough to make up for the approximately 75,000 miles he flies annually.

“As an average person that follows this issue and write about it a lot for his job,” explained Holthaus, ”if I don’t do something that the IPCC recommends, why would anyone else?” Using University of California, Berkeley’s, carbon calculator, he estimates that he’ll be responsible for33.5 fewer tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Holthaus acknowledges the massive cultural change it would take to ground carbon-emitting flights — even Al Gore, he points out, owns a private jet. But Skype, he contends, can often do the same work as face-to-face business meetings, if you can sacrifice the post-meeting schmooze over cocktails. His own lifestyle permits a move toward Internet meet-ups, and while he probably won’t be going overseas again, he says Amtrak can get him most places he wants or needs to go.

Despite what comes off as a huge gesture, he maintains that his decision to stop flying isn’t that drastic. For lifestyle changes like vegetarianism to have a sizable impact, he said, requires constant reaffirmation: You have to deny yourself that steak every day. But plenty of people don’t fly all that often to begin with. If more would cut down on just one long-distance flight per year, he maintains, that would also have a major impact.

 

Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainability. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, emaillabrams@salon.com.

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/30/one_meteorologist_explains_why_he_wont_fly_again/

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Also

Who is Eric Holthaus, and why did he give up flying today?

Friday, September 27, 2013
http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2013/09/who-is-eric-holthaus-and-why-did-he-give-up-flying-today/comment-page-1/

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“Flying Clean” Alliance buzz ICAO talks trailing “Can’t Spell Procrastination Without ICAO” banner

The American Flying Clean Alliance took flight and buzzed the 38th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization in a plane trailing the banner, “Can’t Spell Procrastination Without ICAO.” The flyover took place as delegates from 191 countries entered the assembly to again consider controls for aviation CO2.  Flying Clean said ICAO has been talking about dealing with carbon pollution from planes for 16 years, but doing nothing. ICAO  needs to know that the world is watching and expecting action. The Flying Clean Alliance, in the USA, represents thousands of elite frequent flyers and tens of thousands of everyday flyers who believe the aviation sector needs to stop blocking meaningful action on climate. The ICAO vote is expected on 2nd October, when they need to agree to a global market-based system to curb aviation climate emissions in 2016, which would go into effect in 2020. Global aircraft emissions are anticipated to almost double by 2020, if the industry expands as much as it hopes it will. This increase comes after 16 years of conversation since ICAO was first charged with addressing aviation and climate. That’s procrastination for you. 

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Plane Buzzes ICAO Assembly to Urge End to Climate Procrastination 

 October 01, 2013 ·

MONTREAL, QC, CA

cropped-ICAO-fly-over.jpg

“Photo ©Guy Lavigueur”The Flying Clean Alliance took flight and buzzed the 38th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization in a plane trailing the banner, “Can’t Spell Procrastination Without ICAO.” The flyover took place as delegates from 191 countries entered the assembly to again consider controls for climate pollution from airplanes.

cropped-hi-res.jpg

Feel free to use these images, but please ensure proper photo credit is applied: “Photo ©Guy Lavigueur”

 

“To quote noted aviation philosopher Maverick, ‘Sorry Goose – but it’s time to buzz the tower,’” said Flying Clean Alliance Director Shelby White. “ICAO has been talking about dealing with carbon pollution from airplanes for 16 years, but doing nothing. They need to know that the world is watching and expecting action.

“If they can deliver, it will be a major accomplishment for the climate,” White said.

The Flying Clean Alliance represents thousands of elite frequent flyers and tens of thousands of everyday flyers who believe the aviation sector needs to stop blocking meaningful action on climate.

Tomorrow, ICAO is expected to vote on an agreement to agree to a global market-based system to curb aviation climate emissions in 2016, which would go into effect in 2020, when airplane emissions are projected to be double what they are today.  This comes after 16 years of conversation since ICAO was first charged with addressing aviation and climate.

“For a long time, ICAO has been kicking the can down the runway,” said White. “Every reporter covering the proceedings should review ICAO’s statement of policies on the environment, because you see goals pushed off again and again. With all the missed deadlines crossed out and rewritten and deferred expectations, it would be funny if it wasn’t such a waste. The Macarena was the number one song in the world when they started working on this.”

“ICAO can’t just keep playing it’s old game of promising climate action – next time, and then failing to deliver. Climate change is costing the aviation industry billions of dollars in cancelled flights from extreme weather, and hurting the whole planet. The latest IPCC report on the risks of climate change shows that the aviation industry must do its part to address its pollution, and that means action, not empty promises.”

You can go here for more on the Flying Clean Alliance, and here to see a version of the ICAO working paper showing how their own documents highlight repeated delays over the last 16 years [PDF]. 

http://www.flyingclean.com/plane_buzzes_icao_assembly_to_urge_end_to_climate_procrastination

 

http://www.flyingclean.com/can_t_spell_procrastination_without_icao

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More recent news items about the ICAO talks:

 

Carbon neutral goal for aviation won’t neutralise its climate impact – it needs Market Based Measures too

October 1, 2013    .A report from the Manchester Metropolitan University shows that the emissions from global aviation will continue to have a climate impact for years and decades after they are emitted. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a long time, and continues its warming impact. For this reason, the proposal of the aviation industry to go for “carbon neutral growth” after 2020 will have the effect of increasing the climate impact of aviation. “Carbon neutral growth” in the way the industry sees it, by use of reductions in CO2 emissions from technical, operational and biofuels measures, will not keep emissions and their climate impact low enough. For there to be real “carbon neutral growth”, so argue Transport & Environment in Brussels, and the Aviation Environment Federation in the UK, requires an effective market based measure MBM) as well. The MMU report concludes that to mitigate aviation’s climate warming impact in 2050 through carbon neutral growth in 2020 will require a basket of measures, including MBMs, (such as the EU ETS) to bridge the gap between what can be achieved by the industry and ICAO’s proposed measures, and what is actually needed.    .Click here to view full story…

Deal time in Montreal – the 50/50 basis solution for the ETS ?

September 25, 2013      .It is deal time in Montreal. Over the next two weeks 191 countries will decide what to do about climate-warming emissions. If aviation were a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter in the world, based on CO2 alone. And aviation emissions are set to triple by 2050, so this is no small task. Aoife O’Leary, who is Sustainable Shipping & Aviation Officer, for Transport & Environment in Brussels, writing in the Huffington Post, says of the current position on the EU ETS, that the recent offer by the EU to only regulate aviation emissions in EU airspace would mean 60% less intercontinental emissions than were covered by the original law. Even if every country regulated aviation emissions in its own airspace, that would still mean 78% of global emissions would still not be included, with flights over international waters and third countries uncovered. Aoife says a far more sensible and politically viable solution would have been to revise the ETS on the basis of a 50/50 system, which means each country regulates half the carbon of each international flight.That means countries such as the US that do not want to be regulated do not need to include emissions in their airspace but the EU continues to exercise its sovereignty over flights landing at its airports.   Click here to view full story…

 

Environmental NGOs call for ICAO to bring forward global MBM adoption to 2015 for implementation in 2016

September 24, 2013      .The ICAO draft resolution to be considered by the 38th Assembly later this week appears equivocal on whether to adopt a global market-based measure (MBM), leaving it to the 39th Assembly in 2016 to make a decision. However, environmental NGOs say that evidence shows early action must be taken to ensure the climate impact from rapidly increasing aviation emissions is minimised. In a submission to the Assembly by their representative body, the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), they call for ICAO member states to agree now to develop a global MBM for adoption in 2015 and implementation in 2016. This would be 4 years earlier than the aviation industry is calling for under its “carbon-neutral growth” target (CNG2020). This would require the holding of an Extraordinary General Assembly in 2015, which although not unprecedented would be highly unusual. The NGOs are convinced, and backed by recent research, that a global MBM is the only feasible way to get meaningful CO2 reductions.     Click here to view full story…

 

Emissions Trading Will Dominate ICAO Assembly

September 20, 2013     .A long and comprehensive piece in Aviation Week, discusses the likely outcomes from the ICAO Assemby, on the issue of aviation carbon emissions. The most likely scheme to be agreed in the next two weeks is for aircraft emissions during the part of the flight in EU airspace (including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to be taxed. There are some technical challenges in implementing it. It would not include overflights. Whether ICAO’s 191 contracting states will support the deal at the Assembly is not known, but according to one commentator: “it seems unlikely that delegates will wish to reopen substantive debate on such a hard-won consensus text.” However there are concerns about the impact of this tax on European airlines. The Federal Association of German Aviation and Space Industry, of which Lufthansa is a founding member, objects to the compromise, claiming it represents “a massive distortion of competition for European airlines.” The European Low Fares Airline Association also says it is discriminatory. An effective market based measure agreed globally still seems a very long way from agreement.     . Click here to view full story…

 

An NGO message for the ICAO Assembly: Introduce a global market-based measure now

September 18, 2013     .The Assembly of ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation) takes place in Montreal between 24th September and 4th October. A decision on how to deal with global aviation emissions needs to be taken – if aviation globally was a country, it would rank 7th highest, after Germany. It is widely acknowledged that a market based measure (MBM) would be the most effective mechanism through which to do this. James Lees, from the Aviation Environment Federation, and Bill Hemmings, from Transport & Environment, writing in GreenAir online, say the solution to aviation’s runaway emissions is a “global MBM decided on now and to be introduced by 2016. It is no longer an option for continued disagreement in ICAO to prevent action on aviation’s contribution to climate change. At a time when President Obama has said so much about leading the way [on climate], the White House must finally ensure that the US becomes the global leader for action at the ICAO Assembly. It is time for everybody to take responsibility, stop shielding such a high emitting industry and act….now.”     .Click here to view full story…

 

EU agrees to deal on watered-down version of ETS for emissions only in EU airspace – with more ICAO delay on any global measure

September 6, 2013      The EU has agreed to a deal to scale back its inclusion of aviation in the ETS as UN negotiators at ICAO agreed at talks in Montreal to only include emissions from flights over European airspace. This is a substantial scaling down of the initial plan to include all flights to and from Europe. The ICAO deal, which still needs to be signed off by a full meeting ending October 4th and by EU lawmakers, was immediately criticised by green groups. ICAO will delay implementing any more effective mechanism for another 7 years. The deal falls short of the worldwide pact the EU had hoped for in November 2012 when it exempted foreign flights for one year (“stopping the clock”) to give ICAO more time to develop a global deal. At present airlines need only surrender carbon permits for flights within the EU, so requiring permits for the miles in European airspace is a slight improvement. However, it means that for a long haul flight to or from the EU, most of the carbon is not included in the ETS. Peter Liese, a senior member of the EU Parliament, said “It is far from an ideal solution… (but) I’m really concerned that if we just oppose what is on the table then we may see a total collapse of our effort.”    Click here to view full story…

 

Aviation industry unlikely to agree emissions reduction deal through ICAO until 2016

August 30, 2013     A global deal to reduce emissions from the aviation industry is looking increasingly unlikely to be agreed at the ICAO international negotiations taking place next week in Montreal. The text is still in its draft stage, and will be debated by the ICAO Council on the 4 September before being presented to the General Assembly on the 24th. It proposes that states should work towards the development of a market based mechanism (MBM) to reduce emissions. But in a move branded by NGOs as “disappointing” and promising little except more talk and delay, it states that no decision will be taken until the 39th General Assembly in 2016 – one year after countries are set to cement a binding UN climate agreement in Paris. The document requests the ICAO Council to “make a recommendation on a global MBM scheme that addresses key design elements … and the mechanisms for the implementation of the scheme from 2020.” There has been little action to reduce the aviation sector’s growing greenhouse gas emissions since ICAO was assigned the task under the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. This additional delay is likely to be seen as another victory for the airline industry.    Click here to view full story…

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Carbon neutral goal for aviation won’t neutralise its climate impact – it needs Market Based Measures too

A report from the Manchester Metropolitan University shows that the emissions from global aviation will continue to have a climate impact for years and decades after they are emitted. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a long time, and continues its warming impact. For this reason, the proposal of the aviation industry to go for “carbon neutral growth” after 2020 will have the effect of increasing the climate impact of aviation.  “Carbon neutral growth” in the way the industry sees it, by use of reductions in CO2 emissions from technical, operational and biofuels measures, will not keep emissions and their climate impact low enough. For there to be real “carbon neutral growth”, so argue Transport & Environment in Brussels, and the Aviation Environment Federation in the UK, requires an effective market based measure MBM) as well. The MMU report concludes that to mitigate aviation’s climate warming impact in 2050 through carbon neutral growth in 2020 will require a basket of measures, including MBMs, (such as the EU ETS) to bridge the gap between what can be achieved by the industry and ICAO’s proposed measures, and what is actually needed.

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Carbon neutral goal for aviation won’t neutralise its climate impact – Report

30.9.2013  (Transport & Environment)

Latest research shows that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and industry goal of carbon neutral growth in 2020 will not, as the name might suggest, neutralise aviation’s climate impact.

ICAO is meeting this week in Montreal to attempt to conclude 16 years of negotiations on a set of measures to tackle climate-change emissions from international aviation.

Even if ICAO and industry were to be successful in stabilising aviation’s CO2 emissions at 2020 levels, which is an established goal, this would not correspond to a stabilisation of aviation’s climate warming impact.

The longevity of CO2 already emitted into the atmosphere means that the sector’s climate warming impact will continue to grow long beyond 2020 because CO2 emissions accumulate in the atmosphere faster than they can be removed.

The report by climate researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) shows that even constant, or ‘neutral’, annual aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 still result in an aviation ‘radiative forcing’ (warming effect) increase by a factor of 1.6 in 2050 over 2020 levels, and by a factor of 2.5 in 2100. Real and effective measures to achieve the carbon neutral growth at 2020 goal would, the study says, reduce aviation’s radiative forcing in 2050 by 21% over the business-as-usual scenario. Previous research by the MMU has shown that deploying the maximum feasible reductions from technical, operational and biofuels measures, favoured by ICAO and industry, would only reduce aviation’s climate warming (RF) impact in 2050 by 9%.

The report concludes that to mitigate aviation’s climate warming impact in 2050 through carbon neutral growth in 2020 will require a basket of measures, including market-based measures, to bridge the gap between what can be achieved by the industry and ICAO’s proposed measures, and what is actually needed.

Bill Hemmings, sustainable aviation manager at Transport & Environment, said: “ICAO’s head-in-the-sand approach, focusing on technology, operations and biofuels, falls far short of what is needed for our climate. This robust analysis is compelling and the science is clear: ICAO needs to consider the climate impacts of its CO2 mitigation goals when determining policy in Montreal.”

Analysis has already shown that continuing with the EU ETS will reduce the 2050 radiative forcing by 19.5%. Achieving a 21% result through carbon neutral growth in 2020 will require ICAO to agree to implement a market-based measure (MBM) which is as effective as the EU ETS in delivering real emissions reductions.

Combined with other measures, a global MBM starting in 2012, coupled with technology and alternative fuels, could reduce radiative forcing by around 30% by 2050, but ultimately stabilising the climate impact will require a more ambitious goal. The report did not consider aviation’s non-CO2 effects which will also contribute to a significant increase in radiative forcing nor whether offsets would bring real emissions reductions.

Tim Johnson, Director at the Aviation Environment Federation, said: “Even the modest goal of carbon neutral growth by 2020 will be impossible to achieve without a market-based measure as effective as the EU ETS, which Europe has been pressured to weaken. The international aviation community says it is serious about combatting the harm its industry does to the climate – now it must act to show these words are more than just hot air.

ENDS

Click here for the full MMU report.

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Climate impacts from aviation 2020 Carbon Neutral Goal: stabilized emissions but increasing radiative forcing and temperatures

Date added: September 27, 2013

A new, and rather technical, paper has been produced by CATE, the Centre for Aviation Transport and the Environment, at Manchester Metropolitan University. They have looked at the climate impacts of future scenarios of aviation emissions. The ICAO process that is attempting to deal with aviation emissions only deals with international aviation, ie between countries. Not domestic aviation, which is flying within a country, and of which there is a great deal in countries like the US and China. CATE has produced various scenarios which show that even if the global aviation industry managed to achieve its stated aim of “Carbon Neutral Growth” after 2020, for domestic and international flights, there would be a continuing increase in both radiative forcing (ie. the difference of radiant energy received by the earth and energy radiated back to space) and global temperatures from the aviation emissions. This is because although 30% of CO2 emissions are removed in a few decades, some 50% is not removed for several centuries, and about 20% remain for millennia. This is why under overall climate (temperature) stabilisation scenarios, global CO2 emissions must be reduced dramatically.

Click here to view full story…

Click here for the full MMU report.

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A Market  Based Measure is defined by ICAO as:

Market-based measures include: emissions trading, emission related levies – charges and taxes, and emissions offsetting; all of which aim to contribute to the achievement of specific environmental goals, at a lower cost, and in a more flexible manner, than traditional command and control regulatory measures. Market-based measures are among the elements of a comprehensive mitigation strategy to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international aviation that are being considered by ICAO.

and

Wikipedia defines Market Based Environmental Policy Instruments as

In environmental law and policy, market-based instruments (MBIs) are policy instruments that use markets, price, and other economic variables to provide incentives for polluters to reduce or eliminate negative environmental externalities.

and

Examples include environmentally related taxes, charges and subsidies, emissions trading and other tradeable permit systems, deposit-refund systems, environmental labeling laws, licenses, and economic property rights. For instance, the European Union Emission Trading Scheme is an example of a market-based instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

and


Emissions trading
 or cap and trade is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.

A central authority (usually a governmental body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that may be emitted. The limit or cap is allocated or sold to firms in the form of emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant. Firms are required to hold a number of permits (or allowances or carbon credits) equivalent to their emissions. The total number of permits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Firms that need to increase their volume of emissions must buy permits from those who require fewer permits.

 

Read more »

Climate impacts from aviation 2020 Carbon Neutral Goal: stabilized emissions but increasing radiative forcing and temperatures

A new, and rather technical, paper has been produced by CATE, the Centre for Aviation Transport and the Environment, at Manchester Metropolitan University. They have looked at the climate impacts of future scenarios of aviation emissions. The ICAO process that is attempting to deal with aviation emissions only deals with international aviation, ie between countries. Not domestic aviation, which is flying within a country, and of which there is a great deal in countries like the US and China. CATE has produced various scenarios which show that even if the global aviation industry managed to achieve its stated aim of “Carbon Neutral Growth” after 2020, for domestic and international flights, there would be a continuing increase in both radiative forcing (ie. the difference of radiant energy received by the earth and energy radiated back to space) and global temperatures from the aviation emissions. This is because although 30% of CO2 emissions are removed in a few decades, some 50% is not removed for several centuries, and about 20% remain for millennia. This is why under overall climate (temperature) stabilisation scenarios, global CO2 emissions must be reduced dramatically.

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Climate impacts from aviation 2020 Carbon Neutral Goal: stabilized emissions but increasing radiative forcing and temperatures

Click here for the full report.

26.9.2013 (CATE -MMU)  CATE = Centre for Aviation Transport and the Environment, at  Manchester Metropolitan University

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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set itself a goal to:

to strive to achieve a collective medium term global aspirational goal of keeping the global net carbon emissions from international aviation from 2020 at the same level…”

How might the emissions reductions required to stabilize emissions at 2020 levels be achieved?  What does achieving this goal mean in terms of climate impacts? If international aviation emissions are stabilized at 2020 levels and don’t grow further, will the climate impact also stabilize?

Building on two previous reports, which examined whether projected aviation emissions will meet such goals and quantified the ‘climate impacts’ of various proposed mitigation measures (using the accepted science metric ‘radiative forcing’) (weblink to RF report), this new report answers these questions above. [ Radiative forcing is defined as the difference of radiant energy received by the earth and energy radiated back to space.]

How would aviation CO2 emissions be stabilized at 2020 levels? ICAO is still discussing how this might be achieved, given that aviation CO2 emissions are projected to grow strongly to 2050 under a business as usual scenario. It is envisaged that a basket of measures including technological and operational improvements, alternative lower-carbon intensity fuels, and market-based measures (such as emissions trading and offsetting) will be needed to achieve the ‘2020 Carbon Neutral Growth’ emissions stabilization from 2020 to 2050.

ICAO only has a mandate for international aviation emissions of CO2, some 62% of the total, yet consideration is still required of what may happen to global ‘domestic’ emissions of aviation CO2.

We formulate 3 scenarios of ‘2020 Carbon Neutral Growth’ (CNG2020) and analyse them for their comparative impacts on climate through radiative forcing, and temperature response using sophisticated calculations and nearly 2,000 model simulations.

  • Scenario 1 includes stabilization of international aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 to 2050 (CNG2020), and business as usual growth of domestic emissions (‘S2’ BAU technological and operational improvements)
  • Scenario 2 includes stabilization of international aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 to 2050 (CNG2020), and growth of domestic emissions applying ‘maximum feasible reductions’ from technological and operational improvements plus speculative levels of biofuels (‘S5’ MFR + biofuels)
  • Scenario 3 is a world in which both global international and domestic emissions of aviation CO2 are stabilized at 2020 levels through to 2050.
  • .

The resulting reductions in radiative forcing from aviation CO2 over the S2 business as usual baseline for international and total emissions are shown in the animations below.

Click here to download hi-res figures from the report (as a single zip file).

Figure 1. Effect of CNG2020 international mitigation on CO2 RF to 2050 attributable to international aviation (upper panel), and total aviation (lower panel). The central aviation growth scenario with the RCP8.5 background scenario has been used, for the purposes of illustration.

 

What the simulations show is that, as might be expected from ‘textbook’ climate science, even if all the aviation CO2 emissions stabilize, the radiative forcing and temperature responses never stabilize but inexorably increase as shown below.

This is because COemissions accumulate faster than they can be removed, since although 30% of COemissions are removed in a few decades, a very large fraction of CO2 emissions (50%) are not removed for several centuries, and the remaining 20% remain for millennia. This is the reason why under overall climate (temperature) stabilization scenarios, global CO2emissions must be reduced dramatically.

Figure 2.Total global G-CNG2020 emissions (i.e. international and domestic at 2020 levels), and the absolute CO2 radiative forcings from total global aviation in mW m-2 for scenario 3. The central aviation growth scenario with the RCP3-PD background scenario has been used, for the purposes of illustration.

 

Moreover, comparing the radiative forcing impacts from CNG2020 international emissions with a previous assessment of mitigation measures from technological and operational improvements, and use of biofuels, we show that these measures do not appear to provide enough CO2 mitigation by 2020, which means other policy measures must be introduced, such as emissions trading or quality offsetting, in order to at least stabilize aviation COemissions by 2020.

Such market-based mechanisms have the advantage of being able to reduce emissions quickly, an important aspect when considering ‘climate impact” as highlighted by our previous report.

Click here to download hi-res figures from the report (as a single zip file).

http://www.cate.mmu.ac.uk/projects/climate-impacts-from-aviation-2020-carbon-neutral-goal-stabilized-emissions-but-increasing-radiative-forcing-and-temperatures/

 

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The report’s conclusion states:

Conclusions


• As the ICAO 2020 Carbon Neutral Growth goal applies to international aviation,
scenarios of global domestic emissions need to be considered in order to
calculate total climate impacts in terms of radiative forcing and temperature
response for total aviation. Such scenarios have been formulated as a range
between domestic ‘business as usual’ emissions, and ‘maximum feasible
reductions’ emissions from technology and operational improvements, coupled
with “speculative” levels of biofuels. These combined scenarios of CNG2020
international emissions and S2 or S5 plus biofuel domestic scenarios, result in
reductions in radiative forcing over the baseline ‘business as usual’ scenario of
~21.5% (range 16.3 to 25.4%) or ~26% (range 20.5 to 30.5%) by 2050.
• A combined domestic and international aviation Carbon Neutral Growth
scenario, i.e. stabilized domestic plus international emissions from 2020 to 2050
does not result in stabilized CO2 radiative forcing; rather, as expected, the
radiative forcing never stabilizes but constantly increases, as CO2 accumulates
faster in the atmosphere than it is removed. This is also clearly illustrated in a
hypothetical simulation of constant 2020 emissions to 2500, in which the
radiative forcing increases by nearly a factor of 7 over this timescale from the
constant emission rate.
• Considering the potential achievement of the ICAO 2020 Carbon Neutral Growth
Goal on international aviation alone, this would result in reductions of aviation
CO2 radiative forcing of ~21% (overall range 16 to 25.3%, depending upon
growth scenario) by 2050 over a baseline ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. The way
in which the CNG2020 goal might be achieved is not prescribed, but by
comparison with other previous work with scenarios of mitigation, it is apparent
that in order to achieve the CNG2020 goal, a substantial fraction of the emissions
reductions would need to come from MBMs such as emission trading or carbon
offsetting in addition to the necessary reductions from technology and
operational improvements and low-carbon alternative fuels to fossil-fuel
aviation kerosene.
• It is noted that whilst a constant stabilized emission rate from 2020 would be a
remarkable achievement for the aviation sector, the overall requirements across
all sectors, together, to stabilize global mean surface temperatures to an increase
of 2 °C or less, over pre-industrial values by 2100 requires large reductions in
global CO2 emissions after peaking around 2020. In such a case, the IATA goal of
halving 2005 emissions by 2050 is more in line with keeping climate impacts
from aviation within the 2 °C goal, than aviation emissions stabilization from
2020

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Human influence on climate clear, IPCC report says. Target of staying below 2 degrees C rise in global temp harder to attain

The Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the IPCC  (International Panel on Climate Change) Fifth Assessment Report  has been published. Its Co-Chair said: “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”  Projections by the IPCC of climate change are based on a new set of 4 scenarios of future greenhouse gas concentrations and aerosols, spanning a wide range of possible futures. The Working Group I report assessed global and regional-scale climate change for the early, mid-, and later 21st century.  “As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years.” The report finds with high confidence that ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010.  “As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of CO2, we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop.”
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IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5) is at http://www.ipcc.ch/

This is the 5th Assessment’s Summary for Policy Makers

This is the 5th Assessment Full Report, chapter by chapter –  to be available alfter 30th September, and in full with the summary after January 2014.

 


IPCC PRESS RELEASE

27 September 2013

Human influence on climate clear, IPCC report says

STOCKHOLM

– Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe, a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes.

It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.

Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been
observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850, reports the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by member governments of the IPCC in Stockholm, Sweden.

“Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence. Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” said Qin Dahe, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.

Thomas Stocker, the other Co-Chair of Working Group I said: “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is projected to be likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 in all but the lowest scenario considered, and likely to exceed 2°C for the two high scenarios,” said Co-Chair Thomas Stocker. “Heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer. As the Earth warms, we expect to see currently wet regions receiving more rainfall, and dry regions receiving less, although there will be exceptions,” he added.

Projections of climate change are based on a new set of four scenarios of future greenhouse gas concentrations and aerosols, spanning a wide range of possible futures. The Working Group I report assessed global and regional-scale climate change for the early, mid-, and later 21st century.  “As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years,” said Co-Chair Qin Dahe.

The report finds with high confidence that ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010.

Co-Chair Thomas Stocker concluded: “As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of CO2, we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop.”

Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, said: “This Working Group I Summary for Policymakers provides important insights into the scientific basis of climate change. It provides a firm foundation for considerations of the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems and ways to meet the challenge of climate change.”

These are among the aspects assessed in the contributions of Working Group II and Working Group III to be released in March and April 2014. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report cycle concludes with the publication of its Synthesis Report in October 2014.
“I would like to thank the Co-Chairs of Working Group I and the hundreds of scientists and experts who served as authors and review editors for producing a comprehensive and scientifically robust summary. I also express my thanks to the more than one thousand expert reviewers worldwide for contributing their expertise in preparation of this assessment,” said IPCC Chair Pachauri.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGI AR5) is available at www.climatechange2013.org or www.ipcc.ch.
Key Findings
See separate Fact Sheet of Headline Statements from the WGI AR5 Summary for Policymakers, available at www.climatechange2013.org.
Background
Working Group I is co-chaired by Qin Dahe of the China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China, and Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern, Switzerland. The Technical Support Unit of Working Group I is hosted by the University of Bern and funded by the Government of Switzerland.

At the 28th Session of the IPCC held in April 2008, the members of the IPCC decided to prepare a Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). A Scoping Meeting was convened in July 2009 to develop the scope and outline of the AR5. The resulting outlines for the three Working Group contributions to the AR5 were approved at the 31st Session of the IPCC in October 2009.

The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC WGI AR5 was approved at the Twelfth Session of IPCC Working Group I meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, 23 to 26 September 2013 and was released on 27 September.

The Final Draft of the Working Group I report (version distributed to governments on 7 June 2013), including the Technical Summary, 14 chapters and an Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections, will be released online in unedited form on Monday 30 September. Following copy editing, layout, final checks for errors, and adjustments for changes in the Summary for Policymakers, the full report of Working Group I will be published online in January 2014 and in book form by Cambridge University Press a few months later.

The Working Group I assessment comprises some 2,500 pages of text and draws on millions of observations and over 2 million gigabytes of numerical data from climate model simulations. Over 9,200 scientific publications are cited, more than three quarters of which have been published since the last IPCC assessment in 2007.

In this IPCC assessment report, specific terms are used to indicate the assessed likelihood of an outcome or a result. For those terms used above: virtually certain means 99–100% probability, extremely likely: 95–100%, very likely: 90–100%, likely: 66–100%. For more information see the IPCC uncertainty guidance note: https://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/guidancepaper/ar5_uncertaintyguidance-note.pdf

 

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 IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers  (36 pages)

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This is a short analysis of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, by the Climate News Network,

at   http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/09/the-ipccs-fifth-assessment-report/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

27.9.2013

By the editors

Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report

A note from the Climate News Network editors: we have prepared this very abbreviated version of the first instalment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to serve as an objective guide to some of the headline issues it covers. It is in no sense an evaluation of what the Summary says: the wording is that of the IPCC authors themselves, except for a few cases where we have added headings. The AR5 uses a different basis as input to models from that used in its 2007 predecessor, AR4: instead of emissions scenarios, it speaks of RCPs, representative concentration pathways. So it is not possible everywhere to make a direct comparison between AR4 and AR5, though the text does so in some cases, and at the end we provide a very short list of the two reports’ conclusions on several key issues. The language of science can be complex. What follows is the IPCC scientists’ language. In the following days and weeks we will be reporting in more detail on some of their findings.

In this Summary for Policymakers, the following summary terms are used to describe the available evidence: limited, medium, or robust; and for the degree of agreement: low, medium, or high. A level of confidence is expressed using five qualifiers: very low, low, medium, high, and very high, and typeset in italics, e.g., medium confidence. For a given evidence and agreement statement, different confidence levels can be assigned, but increasing levels of evidence and degrees of agreement are correlated with increasing confidence. In this Summary the following terms have been used to indicate the assessed likelihood of an outcome or a result: virtually certain 99–100% probability, very likely 90–100%, likely 66–100%, about as likely as not 33–66%, unlikely 0–33%, very unlikely 0–10%, exceptionally unlikely 0–1%. Additional terms (extremely likely: 95–100%, more likely than not >50–100%, and extremely unlikely 0–5%) may also be used when appropriate.

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Observed Changes in the Climate System

Atmosphere

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased

Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.

For the longest period when calculation of regional trends is sufficiently complete (1901–2012), almost the entire globe has experienced surface warming.

In addition to robust multi-decadal warming, global mean surface temperature exhibits substantial decadal and interannual variability. Due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends.

As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years, which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951.

Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950. It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale

Ocean

Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010 (high confidence ). It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (0−700 m) warmed from 1971 to 2010, and it likely warmed between the 1870s and 1971.

On a global scale, the ocean warming is largest near the surface, and the upper 75 m warmed by 0.11 [0.09 to 0.13] °C per decade over the period 1971–2010. Since AR4, instrumental biases in upper-ocean temperature records have been identified and reduced, enhancing confidence in the assessment of change.

It is likely that the ocean warmed between 700 and 2000 m from 1957 to 2009. Sufficient observations are available for the period 1992 to 2005 for a global assessment of temperature change below 2000 m. There were likely no significant observed temperature trends between 2000 and 3000 m for this period. It is likely that the ocean warmed from 3000 m to the bottom for this period, with the largest warming observed in the Southern Ocean.

More than 60% of the net energy increase in the climate system is stored in the upper ocean (0–700 m) during the relatively well-sampled 40-year period from 1971 to 2010, and about 30% is stored in the ocean below 700 m. The increase in upper ocean heat content during this time period estimated from a linear trend is likely.

Cryosphere

Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent (high confidence).

The average rate of ice loss from the Greenland ice sheet has very likely substantially increased … over the period 1992–2001. The average rate of ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet has likely increased … over the period 1992–2001. There is very high confidence that these losses are mainly from the northern Antarctic Peninsula and the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica.

There is high confidence that permafrost temperatures have increased in most regions since the early 1980s. Observed warming was up to 3°C in parts of Northern Alaska (early 1980s to mid-2000s) and up to 2°C in parts of the Russian European North (1971–2010). In the latter region, a considerable reduction in permafrost thickness and areal extent has been observed over the period 1975–2005 (medium confidence).

Multiple lines of evidence support very substantial Arctic warming since the mid-20th century.

Sea Level

The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence). Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m.

Since the early 1970s, glacier mass loss and ocean thermal expansion from warming together explain about 75% of the observed global mean sea level rise (high confidence). Over the period 1993–2010, global mean sea level rise is, with high confidence, consistent with the sum of the observed contributions from ocean thermal expansion due to warming, from changes in glaciers, Greenland ice sheet, Antarctic ice sheet, and land water storage.

Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles

The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification

From 1750 to 2011, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have released 365 [335 to 395] GtC [gigatonnes – one gigatonne equals 1,000,000,000 metric tonnes] to the atmosphere, while deforestation and other land use change are estimated to have released 180 [100 to 260] GtC.

Of these cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions, 240 [230 to 250] GtC have accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 [125 to 185] GtC have been taken up by the ocean and 150 [60 to 240] GtC have accumulated in natural terrestrial ecosystems.

Drivers of Climate Change

The total natural RF [radiative forcing – the difference between the energy received by the Earth and that which it radiates back into space] from solar irradiance changes and stratospheric volcanic aerosols made only a small contribution to the net radiative forcing throughout the last century, except for brief periods after large volcanic eruptions.

Understanding the Climate System and its Recent Changes

Compared to AR4, more detailed and longer observations and improved climate models now enable the attribution of a human contribution to detected changes in more climate system components.

Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.

Evaluation of Climate Models

Climate models have improved since the AR4. Models reproduce observed continental-scale surface temperature patterns and trends over many decades, including the more rapid warming since the mid-20th century and the cooling immediately following large volcanic eruptions (very high confidence).

The long-term climate model simulations show a trend in global-mean surface temperature
from 1951 to 2012 that agrees with the observed trend (very high confidence). There are, however, differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012).

The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle.

Climate models now include more cloud and aerosol processes, and their interactions, than at the time of the AR4, but there remains low confidence in the representation and quantification of these processes in models.

The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence). The lower temperature limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2°C in the AR4, but the upper limit is the same. This assessment reflects improved understanding, the extended temperature record in the atmosphere and ocean, and
new estimates of radiative forcing.

Detection and Attribution of Climate Change

Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence has grown since AR4. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

Future Global and Regional Climate Change

Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

The global ocean will continue to warm during the 21st century. Heat will penetrate from the surface to the deep ocean and affect ocean circulation.

It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink and thin and that Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover will decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. Global glacier volume will further decrease.

Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century. Under all RCP scenarios the rate of sea level rise will very likely exceed that observed during 1971–2010 due to increased ocean warming and increased loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets.

Sea level rise will not be uniform. By the end of the 21st century, it is very likely that sea level will rise in more than about 95% of the ocean area. About 70% of the coastlines worldwide are projected to experience sea level change within 20% of the global mean sea level change.

Climate change will affect carbon cycle processes in a way that will exacerbate the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (high confidence). Further uptake of carbon by the ocean will increase ocean acidification.

Cumulative emissions of CO2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond. Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped. This represents a substantial multi-century climate change commitment created by past, present and future emissions of CO2.

A large fraction of anthropogenic climate change resulting from CO2 emissions is irreversible on a multi-century to millennial time scale, except in the case of a large net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere over a sustained period.

Surface temperatures will remain approximately constant at elevated levels for many centuries after a complete cessation of net anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Due to the long time scales of heat transfer from the ocean surface to depth, ocean warming will continue for centuries. Depending on the scenario, about 15 to 40% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere longer than 1,000 years.

Sustained mass loss by ice sheets would cause larger sea level rise, and some part of the mass loss might be irreversible. There is high confidence that sustained warming greater than some threshold would lead to the near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet over a millennium or more, causing a global mean sea level rise of up to 7 m.

Current estimates indicate that the threshold is greater than about 1°C (low confidence) but less than about 4°C (medium confidence) global mean warming with respect to pre-industrial. Abrupt and irreversible ice loss from a potential instability of marine-based sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in response to climate forcing is possible, but current evidence and understanding is insufficient to make a quantitative assessment.

Methods that aim to deliberately alter the climate system to counter climate change, termed geoengineering, have been proposed. Limited evidence precludes a comprehensive quantitative assessment of both Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and their impact on the climate system.

CDR methods have biogeochemical and technological limitations to their potential on a global scale. There is insufficient knowledge to quantify how much CO2 emissions could be partially offset by CDR on a century timescale.

Modelling indicates that SRM methods, if realizable, have the potential to substantially offset a global temperature rise, but they would also modify the global water cycle, and would not reduce ocean acidification.

If SRM were terminated for any reason, there is high confidence that global surface temperatures would rise very rapidly to values consistent with the greenhouse gas forcing. CDR and SRM methods carry side effects and long-term consequences on a global scale.

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Then and Now

 

For comparison, here are the IPCC’s projections in four key areas: from the 2013 AR5, in bold – from the 2007 AR4, in regular type

Probable temperature rise by 2100:  1.5-4°C under most scenarios – from 1.8-4°C

Sea level rise: very likely faster than between 1971 and 2010 – by 28-43 cm

Arctic summer sea ice disappears: very likely it will continue to shrink and thin – in second half of century

Increase in heat waves: very likely to occur more frequently and last longer – increase very likely.

http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/09/the-ipccs-fifth-assessment-report/

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Some other articles on the IPCC paper:

s by Damian Carrington:

by Pilita Clark:

by George Monbiot:

by Ben Webster:


 

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The IPCC Report should act as a wake-up call to the aviation industry

27.9.2013  (Blog by John Stewart)

It is just coincidence.  On the day that the IPCC report, calling for immediate action to tackle climate change, is published – ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation) is continuing its leisurely deliberations in Montreal to find a way to reduce CO2 emissions from aviation that is acceptable to the governments of the world.

ICAO, an arm of the United Nations specializing in aviation, moves at a snail-like pace. It has been considering aviation emissions for years but still made no recommendations. Its latest round of deliberations has been prompted by the recent inclusion of aviation into the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme which would have hit all planes using European airports. But, since most of the rest of the world refused to play ball, the EU suspended the scheme and everybody crawled back to ICAO for yet more negotiations.

The words “urgent” and “ICAO” have never really gone together but today’s IPCC Report suggests that ICAO needs to take lessons from Usain Bolt and get sprinting.

Aviation is set to become a serious obstacle to the worldwide community achieving the reductions in global warming gases required to prevent runaway climate change.

The industry keeps quoting the figure that aviation only accounts tor 2% of worldwide emissions. That figure is utterly misleading. It emerged in the early 1990s since when the number of aircraft in the world’s skies has mushroomed. Although aircraft are becoming cleaner, a more realistic figure is thought to be between 3.5% and 5%. And in rich countries the proportion of their total emissions from aviation is higher. The worldwide average is only so low because so many people in poorer countries never set foot in an aeroplane. According to the WorldWatch Institute, only 5% of the world’s population has ever flown:
http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4346

But it is in the future that aviation will become the real culprit. While every other industry believes it can find ways to cut its emissions, aviation will struggle to do so. This is not surprising since aviation is so dependent on oil. But it means that aviation could account for 25% of UK emissions by 2050, according to the UK Committee on Climate Change. Worldwide, aviation emissions are set to triple by 2050.

Today’s IPCC Report should act as a wake-up call to the aviation industry. It doesn’t mean the end of aviation as flying brings important cultural and economic benefits. It ought to, though, focus minds on the tax-breaks aviation receives: tax-free fuel and VAT-free travel. A sizeable proportion of flights are over short distances – for example 45% of flights within Europe are 450 kilometres or less. http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/planes_trains.pdf

Aviation emissions can be cut without crippling the industry. The industry won’t do this of its own accord. It needs Government action. And fast. That probably rules out the snail-like ICAO which will probably still be debating its next small step when half of Bangladesh lies under water. Now there’s a thought: shouldn’t ICAO move its meetings from Montreal to Dacca. It may concentrate minds.

 

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Deal time in Montreal – the 50/50 basis solution for the ETS ?

It is deal time in Montreal. Over the next two weeks 191 countries will decide what to do about climate-warming emissions. If aviation were a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter in the world, based on CO2 alone. And aviation emissions are set to triple by 2050, so this is no small task. Aoife O’Leary, who is Sustainable Shipping & Aviation Officer, for Transport & Environment in Brussels, writing in the Huffington Post, says of the current position on the EU ETS, that the recent offer by the EU to only regulate aviation emissions in EU airspace would mean 60% less intercontinental emissions than were covered by the original law. Even if every country regulated aviation emissions in its own airspace, that would still mean 78% of global emissions would still not be included, with flights over international waters and third countries uncovered. Aoife says a far more sensible and politically viable solution would have been to revise the ETS on the basis of a 50/50 system, which means each country regulates half the carbon of each international flight.That means countries such as the US that do not want to be regulated do not need to include emissions in their airspace but the EU continues to exercise its sovereignty over flights landing at its airports.

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Aoife O'Leary

by , Sustainable Shipping & Aviation Officer, Transport & Environment, Brussels

24.9.2013 (Huffington Post)

Global Deal or No Deal for Aviation?

It is deal time in Montreal. Over the next two weeks 191 countries will decide what to do about climate-warming emissions. If aviation were a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter in the world, based on CO2 alone. And aviation emissions are set to triple by 2050, so this is no small task.

The responsible UN body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), based in Montreal, has been discussing the issue for 16 years now. But it took the EU’s inclusion of international aviation in its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to really focus minds.

Aviation was included in the ETS on the basis of EU sovereignty – if you fly into Europe’s airports, you comply with Europe’s laws. The EU required airlines to surrender pollution permits for the carbon emitted during the entire length of all flights to and from an EU airport. Europe did so in the belief that it had the responsibility to reduce emissions from aviation, just as from any other sector of the economy. But other countries cried foul, especially the USA – the world’s biggest aviation emitter, accusing the EU of breaching its sovereignty by regulating emissions outside of Europe’s borders.

Let’s be clear: international law allows countries to set rules for aircraft landing at their airports. The US uses this provision to full advantage by requiring full passenger information before you even board a US-bound aircraft, nevermind before you enter US airspace. And the EU Court of Justice declared the EU’s plan legal when it dismissed a challenge from US airlines. No country has ever brought an appeal to the ICAO Council to challenge the legality of the EU action, but the cries of sovereignty breaches continue.

This leads us to where we are today. In order to foster a consensus, the EU recently offered to cut back the EU ETS by regulating emissions only within EU airspace. This is a reduction of over 60% of the intercontinental emissions covered by the original law. In exchange, the EU hopes the ICAO countries will finally agree in Montreal to develop details of a global market-based measure over the next three years, then sign off on the global measure in 2016 and begin implementation in 2020. But divisions amongst ICAO members run deep and it is not clear that this can even be agreed, never mind actually achieved in 2016.

And in any case, even if every country implemented an airspace regime, 78% of global emissions would still be uncovered, with flights over international waters and third countries uncovered. It’s hard to see this approach as robust guidance on how to tackle an industry whose climate impact accounts for 5% of global warming.

The aviation ETS became EU law in 2008, and it seems extraordinary that EU member states, with the backing of the European Commission, can now see fit to concede on such a grand scale when the clear divisions in ICAO could well undo any delicate conclusion reached at this Assembly. The fact that the European Parliament has been side-lined in this whole process, not to mention relevant stakeholders like you and I, only makes the story more incredible.

A far more sensible and politically viable solution would have been to revise the ETS on the basis of what we call 50/50. To explain this, let’s take a London to New York flight. Under 50/50 the EU would regulate the first 50% of emissions of flights departing London and the last 50% of all flights returning from New York. The US would then have the option to enact a regulation for its 50% of each journey if they wanted to (they won’t). Importantly, this solution keeps the environmental integrity of the system. Emissions over the US continent are not taken into account (solving the supposed violation of US sovereignty) and the EU continues to exercise its sovereignty over flights landing at its airports.

It is clear that the EU’s concession will fatally weaken EU action on aviation emissions. We can only hope now that as a result of this concession, the US and other countries show sufficient political determination to broker the best possible global deal. After 16 years of delay and the EU’s massive retreat, international aviation must now take responsibility for its ever-growing climate impact.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/aoife-oleary/aviation-global-deal_b_3981807.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

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T&E Briefing

If the ETS is to be amended, it should be on the basis of maximum coverage of emissions generated by international flights. The most promising option to keep an environmentally sound ETS while addressing the concerns of other countries is for the EU to regulate extra-European flights on a 50/50 basis: the first 50% of any departing flight and the last 50% of any arriving flight. This, and the other options on the table, are fully explained in the briefing below.
Briefing: Aviation ETS: a meaningful future?   PDF, 1.8 MByte

http://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/TE%20Briefing%20Parliament%20Airspace_final_final.pdf

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Many more news stories about the EU ETS over the past few years at 

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Lord Stern says the EU must halve its CO2 emissions by 2030 – not just cut by 40%

Renowned economist, Lord Nicholas Stern, says an ambitious climate change target would boost certainty for investors in energy efficiency and in renwables, in the UK and Europe. The EU should halve its carbon emissions, from their 1990 level, by 2030. Ahead of the launch of the IPCC 5th assessment report, Lord Stern said “vacillation” by the UK government on its commitment to cutting carbon was very damaging to investment in low carbon technologies. While the UK has adopted targets to halve CO2 emissions by 2025 and put the UK on course for a 60% cut by 2030, these are due to be reviewed next year, and could be altered if the UK finds it is out of sync with lower ambition in Brussels. The EU is considering a 40% cut by 2030, but even that is not enough – Lord Stern believes this needs to be a 50% cut in total emissions and a 30% share of renewables in the energy mix.  The EU is already on track to meet its target of cutting emissions 20% by 2020, in part thanks to the economic crisis which has reduced output. Meanwhile, on EU aviation CO2 emissions, the uncertainty remains of even their inclusion in the ETS. 

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Lord Stern: EU must halve emissions by 2030

Renowned economist says ambitious climate change target would boost certainty for investors in the UK and Europe

By Jessica Shankleman (Business Green)

24 Sep 2013

The European Union should set an ambitious goal to halve emissions from 1990 to 2030, in order to help build confidence among businesses and other countries that it is serious about limiting climate change risks.

Lord Stern, former World Bank chief economist and author of the landmark 2006 report on the costs of climate change, also said setting a strong carbon reduction target was more pressing for the EU than specific technology targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Speaking to reporters today ahead of this week’s launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment, Stern warned that “vacillation” by the UK government on its commitment to cutting carbon was very damaging to investment in low carbon technologies.

The UK has adopted targets to halve carbon emissions by 2025 and put the UK on course for a 60 per cent decrease by 2030. But these are due to be reviewed next year, and could be altered if the UK finds it is out of sync with ambition in Brussels.

“So in that context, the European Union deciding soon to go to 50 per cent reductions by 2030 would be a major contribution to the overall clarity,” said Stern.

The Commission now intends to present concrete legislative proposals on its 2030 climate and energy package by the end of year, and has already floated plans for a 40 per cent carbon reduction, plus a 30 per cent share of renewables in the energy mix.

But Stern maintained a 40 per cent reduction would be too modest, given that the bloc is already on track to meet its target of cutting emissions 20 per cent by 2020, in part thanks to the economic crisis which has reduced output.

“If you take the sluggishness of this extended period… targets which were set some time ago, look modest because emissions are closely related to output. So 40 per cent would look and be quite modest, and wouldn’t be much of acceleration down the path we need to go.”

But Stern said he also agreed with Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, who is opposed to fresh EU renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

Green businesses are lobbying for a legally binding 2030 target on renewable energy, warning that the current investment momentum will be lost without a longer term target in line with the long investment cycles in the energy sector.

But Stern said an overall carbon target was more important than technology-specific targets.

“I understand the UK is pushing very strongly, and rightly so for a 50 per cent reduction on 1990-2030 on greenhouse emissions.

“That’s very important, and I trust that in so doing it will move quickly to confirm the fourth carbon budget.

“Both of these things would restore confidence in where the EU is going and they would go some way to meeting the problem of lack of credibility in the climate policies in the European Union,” he added.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2296548/lord-stern-eu-must-halve-emissions-by-2030

 

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Europe weighing 40% 2030 carbon-cutting goal: EU sources

By Barbara Lewis  (Independent)

BRUSSELS

Sep 19, 2013

(Reuters) – European Union regulators are considering doubling the bloc’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and setting a tougher binding goal for renewable energy use, EU sources said.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive, outlined new targets earlier this year but has yet to follow up with a firm legislative proposal. That is expected around the end of the year.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one source said the Commission was considering two legal targets to follow the three green energy goals that expire at the end of this decade.They would be a 40 percent carbon-reduction goal and a 30 percent renewable energy use target. That compares with the 2020 targets of a 20 percent carbon cut from 1990 levels, a 20 percent share of renewable energy and a target to improve energy savings to 20 percent.

“The Commission at the moment is looking at a 40 percent domestic greenhouse gas target and a 30 percent EU-wide renewables target, but no third target,” the source said, adding some commissioners opposed the goals and debate would be difficult.

In addition to cutting domestic emissions by 40 percent, another source said the EU could commit to further cuts through international offsets if a global climate change deal is agreed.

The source added Commission experts were analyzing the economic impact of a 35-45 percent range for carbon cutting.

Traditionally, EU climate policy has been the preserve of the Commission’s climate and energy departments. But Europe’s economic struggles have prompted influential officials, including EU Economic and Monetary Affairs chief Olli Rehn, to insist green policy must not undo fragile recovery.

IMPACT

The European Union’s goals can influence the international debate on climate change and also have a bearing on the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which fell to record lows earlier this year under the burden of surplus permits.

Tougher policy goals could help to limit the oversupply of carbon allowances.

If agreed, the new European goals would be more ambitious than other nations have managed.

The U.S. Senate has refused to legislate cuts favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and Australia’s new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who won power last month, has promised to scrap taxes on carbon pollution.

Still, environmental campaigners say the 2030 EU carbon-cutting goal should be 60 percent.

“The greenhouse gas numbers that the Commission is currently going for gives us only a 50:50 chance of preventing run-away climate change,” said Brook Riley, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth (FoE).

He said the range used to model the economic impact was far too low and the Commission was putting short-term political pragmatism before science.

The Commission does not comment on proposals before they are published.

Speaking in Vilnius, where EU energy ministers are meeting on Thursday and Friday, Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said only the debate was open.

“It’s up to member states to bring some input, to bring some constructive priorities,” he told reporters.

Member states appear deeply divided. Denmark has advocated a new set of three targets, but others, including Britain, have said they want just one carbon-cutting goal.

EU member Poland, which will host the next U.N. talks on climate change in Warsaw this year, says the European Union should not make any promises until there is a global deal, which is not expected until a U.N. summit in Paris in 2015.

Even U.N. officials have voiced concern that nations will not promise sufficient carbon cuts.

Echoing disagreement at the government level, the business community is also divided on the need for binding EU targets.

An open letter to EU energy ministers and commissioners, signed by 61 companies and associations, including energy firms Alstom and Acciona, called for a binding 2030 renewable goal, but did not specify a level.

(Additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Oslo, Andrius Sytas in Vilnius and Nina Chestney in London; editing by Jason Neely)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/19/us-eu-climate-idUKBRE98I0RP20130919

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Europe must cut emissions 55% by 2030 to tackle carbon credit glut

Greenpeace calls for major strengthening of 2030 emissions target, as European Commission seeks to shrink list of companies receiving free permits

By Jessica Shankleman (Business Green)

12 Jun 2013

The European Commission should aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions 55 per cent against 1990 levels by 2030 if it is to tackle the glut of allowances that has undermined the price of carbon in its flagship emissions trading scheme (ETS).

That is the conclusion of a major new Greenpeace-commissioned report from consultancy Ecofys, which examines the impact of the European Commission’s proposed 2030 climate and energy package, which is likely to be finalised by the end of this year.The Commission has suggested it could target emissions reductions of 40 per cent by 2030, based on the EU’s 2011 roadmap that aims to deliver a low carbon economy by 2050.

But the new report, published yesterday, argues that much steeper cuts of around 49 per cent will be needed if the bloc is to remain on track towards its goal of 80 per cent cuts by 2050. Additionally, it argues that the current surplus of permits from the EU’s ETS, now representing around 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon, would mean even more demanding targets will be needed to stop polluters simply holding on to excess allowances and using them to continue to pollute through the 2020s.

As a result, Greenpeace is now calling on the Commission to up its ambition and set a 55 per cent carbon reduction target, which would both put the EU on track towards its 2050 goal and wipe out the surplus supply of credits in the ETS.

Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken said the 40 per cent proposal put forward by the Commission was “woefully inadequate”, given the impact of a failing ETS. If the EU fails to agree a short-term backloading plan to prop up the carbon price next month, the surplus is expected to grow to two billion tonnes by 2020, meaning that without later action to retire excess credits the market will continue to be dominated by over-supply through the 2020s.

“The EU needs a stricter 2030 target if it wants to keep the ETS alive and avoid the most severe effects of climate change,” he said.

Greenpeace’s proposals are closer to the UK’s plan to introduce a 50 per cent CO2 reduction target for 2030. However, unlike Greenpeace the UK has rejected proposals for a renewable energy target that would sit alongside the greenhouse gas goal.

Ecofys director of energy and climate policy Niklas Höhne said any new emissions target must take into account the effectiveness of the EU’s ETS.

“Given the currently expected surplus, the 2030 target or the trajectory towards it would need to be significantly more stringent than otherwise,” he said.

The report comes just a day after the Commission revealed plans to reduce the number of sectors that receive free carbon allowances from 2020. The so-called Carbon Leakage List, which is designed to address industry concerns that the ETS will push up the cost of doing business in Europe prompting some firms to migrate overseas, currently includes 154 sectors and 16 sub-sectors for the period 2009-2014, including steel and cement.

But green businesses and NGOs have argued the list is outdated, as it was drawn up in 2009 and based on a carbon price of €30 per tonne. In reality, the glut of allowances has pushed the carbon price to lows of €3 per tonne.

Any plans to shrink the carbon leakage list are likely to be contested by heavy industries, which argue the ETS is pushing up the cost of energy. Once approved, the new list will apply from 2015 to 2019.

However, a spokesman for Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told BusinessGreen that to date nocompanies have quit the EU citing the carbon price, suggesting the concept of “carbon leakage” is currently more of a perceived than a real threat to industry.

“We’re just giving all these free allowances to sectors today under the assumption that the carbon price is €30,” he said. “So they are getting a huge surplus of allowances and that’s one of the reasons why we want to revise the list.”

Some of the groups campaigning for the EU to tackle the oversupply of allowances in the carbon market have argued in the past that if efforts to reduce the supply of carbon credits are blocked then the Commission should take steps to limit the distribution of free allowances to businesses.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2274160/europe-must-cut-emissions-55-per-cent-by-2030-to-tackle-carbon-credit-glut

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