EU plays central role in landmark deal on CO2 standard for aircraft emissions
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
The European Commission has welcomed the agreement reached recently (8.2) within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on the first ever-global standard to cap CO2 emissions from aircraft.
“This agreement is an important step to curb aviation emissions,” said EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc. “An ambitious climate policy is an integral part of the Commission’s plan to create an Energy Union, and a priority of the new Aviation Strategy. The EU played a central role in brokering this deal, as it did at the COP21 in Paris. I hope this will create further momentum for the creation of a Global Market-Based Measure to offset CO2 emissions from international aviation, which we hope to achieve this autumn at the ICAO General Assembly.”
Commissioner Bulc referred to United Nation’s conference on climate change last December in Paris where 195 nations signed a climate agreement to cut fossil fuel use. The agreement set an ambitious goal of limiting the rise of temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a mark which could be a tipping point for climate change.
Meeting in Montreal, the ICAO’s Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP) agreed on a CO2 standard, which will guide the certification of aircraft towards greater fuel-efficiency. The new environmental measure was unanimously recommended by the 170 international experts in the committee.
For large new aircraft types, a very ambitious standard was agreed, to incentivize ever-greater fuel efficiency performance of future aircraft fleets. For such aircraft types, the standard will apply as of 2020. By 2028, existing aircraft types will also have to apply the new standard. Over the period until 2040, the CO2 standard could help save up to 650 million tonnes of CO2.
The proposed global standard is especially stringent where it will have the greatest impact: for larger aircraft. Operations of aircraft weighing over 60 tonnes account for more than 90% of international aviation emissions. They also have access to the broadest range of emissions reduction technologies, which the standard recognizes.
“Our sector presently accounts for less than two percent of the world’s annual CO2 emissions, but we also recognize that the projected doubling of global passengers and flights by 2030 must be managed responsibly and sustainably,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council.
The agreement concluded six years of international negotiations. It will be brought before the 39th ICAO Assembly in September for political endorsement, and is expected to be formally adopted by the ICAO Council in early 2017.