Home Uncategorized EU calls on ICAO to agree to long-term aviation climate plan

EU calls on ICAO to agree to long-term aviation climate plan

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The European Union (EU) has called on ICAO to agree at its assembly in September to a “long-term goal” to address the aviation industry’s increasing carbon-dioxide emissions.

The plea follows a Feb. 15 announcement by ICAO—a United Nations body—that it has reached agreement on how airlines can use alternative fuels to reduce their offsetting requirements under its shorter-term plan to cap aviation emissions: The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

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In a Feb. 18 document setting out its climate-diplomacy conclusions, the Council of the EU urged ICAO to “swiftly implement an effective CORSIA, while ensuring its environmental integrity,” but also to “agree on a long-term goal at its next assembly.”

While CORSIA seeks to help the airline industry achieve the second of its three climate goals—carbon-neutral growth starting in 2020—details remain elusive on how it will reach its third target of halving net 2005-level aviation carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050.

The EU Council described climate change in the document as “a direct and existential threat, which will spare no country,” and said action to stem its “devastating impacts “remains insufficient.”

The ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) met in Montreal last week to discuss global measures to address aviation’s environmental impact. The meetings concluded with agreements on a new standard to limit the emissions of non-volatile particulate matter from aircraft engines; the means to calculate and claim benefits accrued from the use of sustainable aviation fuels within the context of CORSIA; and an updated outlook on noise, local air quality and climate change.

ICAO said the updated outlook would form “the basis for the considerations of ICAO environmental policies at the next ICAO assembly.”

On the sustainable fuels side, ICAO said the CAEP had agreed on requirements for sustainability certification schemes. These will be used to determine which fuel types are eligible to enable airlines to reduce the amount of offsets they have to buy under CORSIA. The agreement sets out methodologies to calculate the life-cycle carbon-dioxide reduction benefits associated with different feedstocks. ICAO said it had recommended a procedure for the relevant technical advisory body to follow when evaluating the eligibility of emissions-offset units.

“This package of agreements provides the clarity needed for the energy sector to embark on the production of sustainable fuels for aviation, and is an important step toward CORSIA implementation,” ICAO explained.



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