The Aviation Blog

There is a lot of work taking place throughout the aviation industry to reduce the level of CO2 emissions associated with its operations. This work takes many forms, including the continuous implementation of new technologies, operational efficiencies and green infrastructure projects. One aspect, however, which perhaps doesn’t get as much attention, is the ongoing international negotiations aimed at developing a global market-based measure (MBM) for aviation, a process agreed at the 2013 Assembly of the specialised UN aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The much anticipated global MBM is perhaps the most important of all the industry’s climate actions. Once finalised at the next ICAO Assembly in 2016, the MBM is due to take effect from 2020. Though the exact nature and format of the MBM is yet to be decided, the measure will help significantly with industry efforts to cap net CO2 emissions growth from aviation from 2020.

Of course, to be effective, any MBM must be global in nature and have the backing of all 191 Member States of ICAO. To ensure all of these States have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the MBM, ICAO has just completed a series of ‘Global Aviation Dialogues’, or GLADs. The five GLADs were held in Lima, Nairobi, Cairo, Singapore and Madrid in April, so as to provide the widest possible geographical scope. The aviation industry took part in the GLADs to give an industry perspective. [http://www.icao.int/Meetings/GLADs-2015/Documents/Presentations/GLADs%20presentation_final.pdf]

The development of a global MBM must take a range of interests into account – the administration must be easy to comply with by both airlines and States with a wide variety of experience and expertise. It must ensure that aviation’s global development is not hampered, particularly in those emerging economies and developing nations that rely heavily on the economic and social benefits that increased connectivity can bring. And of course it must maximise environmental integrity if it is to achieve the aim of an MBM at all. All this on top of a variety of technical and operational elements that are being worked on by governments, the industry and civil society representatives.

The GLADs will help ensure that a variety of stakeholder views can be folded in to the development of a proposal over the next year, ready to be presented at the ICAO Assembly in September 2016. There are some issues – such as the differentiation between developing and developed economies – which will require movement at the Paris Climate Talks at the end of this year. But we are very encouraged by the progress within the working groups at ICAO and the feedback from the GLADs that a solution can be reached. The aviation sector is supporting and encouraging the process all the way.

Posted by ATAG (Air Transport Action Group)

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