Carbon trading businesses want ICAO to get airlines to offset their carbon emissions

Three lobby groups representing businesses in favour of using markets to tackle climate change (the International Emissions Trading Association, the Climate Markets and Investment Association and the Project Developers Forum) want the UN to force airlines to offset their carbon emissions.  They want this as a first step reducing their carbon footprint, and to help towards resolving the disputes at ICAO on getting some global framework on international aviation emissions.   The lobby groups say getting airlines to buy and cancel carbon offsets would provide an easy and effective short term fix while a longer term plan is agreed.  An ICAO panel is meeting this week to try and agree on proposals to deal with aviation carbon. It is under pressure to get an agreement at its annual meeting in September after the EU agreed to “stop the clock” on its ETS last  year, for flights into and out of Europe. At present the price of carbon has collapsed and is a very cheap way for airlines to offset their emissions.


Business groups urge airlines to offset emissions

26 Mar 2013 (Reuters Point Carbon)

Businesses, investors and low-carbon project developers have urged the U.N. to force airlines to offset emissions as a first step reducing the their carbon footprint and resolving an issue that has threatened to spark an international trade war.

In a joint letter to the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), three lobby groups representing businesses in favour of using markets to tackle climate change said getting airlines to buy and cancel carbon offsets would provide an easy and effective short term fix while a longer term plan is agreed.

“We strongly recommend that ICAO implement a combination of sector-wide emission trading measures with the use of offsets over the medium to long-term, as well as sector-wide offsetting in the short-term,” said the letter by the International Emissions Trading Association, the Climate Markets and Investment Association and the Project Developers Forum.

An ICAO panel is meeting at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada this week to hammer out proposals for a global deal to tackle aviation’s greenhouse gas output.

ICAO is under pressure to get an agreement at its annual meeting in September after the EU said it will not enforce a law regulating CO2 from all planes using EU airports for a one-year period to buy the body more time (“stopping the clock“).

The EU’s decision came after protests from major trading partners including China, India and the U.S. that the measure infringed on their sovereignty, opposition that analysts said could escalate into a trade war.

“There is currently a diverse range of registered (offset) projects that will continue to provide a cost-effective mitigation option until such time that aviation technology allows cost-effective mitigation at source,” the lobby groups’ letter said.

It suggested recognised offsets, such as those from the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism, voluntary market standards such as the Verified Carbon Standard and Gold Standard as well as California Carbon Offsets could be used by the airlines.

Offset demand from the aviation sector could hit more than 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2020 according to a report published last December by PWC, which also said a collapse in offset prices has made it one of the most cost-effective options for the industry to reduce its emissions impact.

The price of CDM credits, the most widely traded offsets, has collapsed by 97% over the past three years to levels below 40 euro cents per tonne of CO2.





There is more news on the ETS and on the delays with ICAO at          EU ETS News Stories




Earli er

EC freezes ETS for airlines flying to and from Europe till November 2013 progress by ICAO

November 12, 2012     The EU has announced that it will delay the date by which airlines have to pay for their emissions on flights to and from Europe. This is very disappointing  news. However, they will only delay until there is progress by ICAO on producing a global deal on aviation emissions. If there is not adequate progress by ICAO when it meets in November 2013, the EU ETS will continue to include international aviation, as it does now. Flights within Europe remain in the ETS as before – whether by EU airlines or non-EU airlines – the change is only for flights to and from the EU. Connie Hedegaard, announcing the change, said EU member states will still have to formally endorse the Commission’s exemption for non-EU carriers. The change has occurred because of intense pressure from countries such as the USA, India and China – and lobbying from Airbus on fears the ETS is causing it to lose plane sales. China and India have far more to lose than us if they start a trade war, because they export far more to us than we export there. Nonetheless, the EU and UK have meekly conceded to blackmail from China instead of doing the right thing. We understand that David Cameron was lobbying the EU to defer ETS. It demonstrates, yet again, the UK and EU leaders prefer to sacrifice action on climate change in favour of narrow business interests.  The EC has repeatedly said it only included aviation in the ETS after more than a decade of inaction at the ICAO. Unfortunately the concessions made by the EC are much larger than required,  and there is no expectation that ICAO will come up with anything worthwhile in the next year.but on the positive side, the EC can no longer be accused of not doing anything in response to voluble continuing criticism over its approach to aviation and climate change.    Click here to view full story…