Deciphering ICAO negotiations for a climate audience

The latest round of negotiations on aviation’s offsetting scheme finished in ICAO at the end of last month, with crucial rules on offsets and biofuels postponed until the next meeting in mid-September. Long-standing reservations from China and Brazil challenged the enforcement of criteria developed in the UN agency that would restrict low-quality offsets from entering …

Why we need a pollution price for shipping

Earlier this month, the 173 member countries of the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed to cut emissions from ships by 50% below 2008 levels by 2050 and pursue efforts to phasing them out completely. An effective carbon price, combined with short-term operational and technical measures, will help unlock the huge potential for pollution-free shipping. …

Ticket tax: Both minimally effective AND incredibly impactful?

The Swedish government is tackling the soaring emissions from aviation through an extra fee on airline tickets. There has been significant industry pushback about the extra costs, stating concerns both about economic impacts and low environmental benefits. We agree that in order to drive real transformation of the most polluting of all transport modes, overall …

Offset restrictions needed to avoid crash landing for the aviation pollution scheme

The future aviation offsetting scheme will end up having little impact on the sector’s soaring emissions unless restrictions are applied on what kind of offset credits airlines can purchase, a new study has found. The study, commissioned by the German government, looked at the scenario where all offset credits from the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism …

Is Europe compromising too much to get the aviation carbon market up and running?

The European Union has told the UN aviation body that it accepts the draft rules for the future global aviation offsetting scheme without changes but raises questions about the quality of offsets. Leaving the rules unchanged poses risks which include allowing in almost any offset with very limited oversight. The EU and its member states …

Lessons learned should guide the work on aviation offsetting scheme

Aviation sector plans to address its massive climate impact by offsetting part of its emissions growth. Producing a respectable offset is becoming more and more difficult in a world where we are rapidly approaching our pollution limits. Below are some of the pitfalls the sector will have to avoid if the scheme is to have …

ICAO new year’s resolution – 3 steps towards robust aviation pollution rules

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is currently finalising the rules for its carbon offsetting scheme that will enter into force come January 1 of next year. Lack of transparency and possibly non-binding offset credit criteria risk undermining efforts to make the aviation sector do its fair share of climate action in order to limit …

Time for ICAO to open its climate change black box

The United Nations climate conferences bring together governments, academics, civil society, media and many others regularly to discuss climate change in the context of the UN Framework Convention. The next meeting takes place 6-17 November in Bonn. At the same time, behind closed doors without public scrutiny, the UN aviation body meets to decide on …

CDM credits not fit to meet Paris goals – study

A recent study by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) looking at credits issued under the UN offsetting measure, the Clean Development Mechanism, warns governments against using them to meet their pledges under the Paris Agreement. In the past, when judging the quality of an offsetting project, most people looked at questions such as: is the methodology used to …

Now is the time to upgrade Europe’s aviation pollution rules

This article was first published on Green Air Online on 11 July 2017 Wed 12 July 2017 – Yesterday, the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) voted on how the aviation sector should be treated under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in response to a decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to set …