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Briefings
7 Mar 2017

Addressing aviation emissions under the EU Emissions Trading System

In February 2017, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal regarding coverage of aviation emissions by the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). In response to the offsetting agreement reached in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in October of 2016, the Commission proposes to cover only intra-European flights with the EU ETS and to exclude flights entering and leaving Europe.

Briefings
25 Oct 2016

Report: Offsetting in the aviation sector

Efforts to address the rapid growth of emissions from air travel have been under discussion for years within the United Nations’ aviation body – the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In 2013, ICAO agreed on a goal of limiting international aviation’s net emissions growth to 2020 levels (estimated at roughly 700 million tonnes CO2 per year in 20201 ), via a mix of efficiency measures, biofuel use, technology and operational improvements including a CO2 standard, and a global market-based measure (GMBM). In other words, the industry’s growth from 2020 onward should be “neutral” in terms of net CO2 emissions.

Briefings
14 Oct 2016

The CORSIA: ICAO’s market based measure and implications for Europe

Executive Summary On October 6th, Member States of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed on an offsetting scheme to compensate for emissions growth from 2020 levels. The new scheme, called the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), falls short of achieving the goal of carbon neutral growth in 2020 (CNG2020), let…

Briefings
5 May 2016

Cabin cross check: Safety criteria for aviation’s market-based measure

Summary Aviation accounts for approximately 4.9% of all global warming1 and is projected to grow by up to 300% by 2050 if left unaddressed. In order to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, international aviation must contribute to the global effort to reduce emissions. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the international body responsible…

Briefings
22 Dec 2015

Paris outcomes: Carbon Market Watch Analysis of COP 21

From 30 November to 12 December 2015, Parties to the UNFCCC met in Paris to negotiate a new global climate treaty.

The Paris Agreement was a remarkable outcome, especially after the failures of Copenhagen. Almost all involved, including Carbon Market Watch, seemed surprised at how positive the outcome was. However, expectations had been carefully managed in the preceding years, so that aspirations of environmentalists to have a treaty that reflected the scientific reality by dividing up the remaining global carbon budget, had been downplayed into unreality.

Briefings
30 Nov 2015

Report: Using nature to pardon environmental pollution – Risks of agriculture sequestration carbon offsets

Agriculture supports the livelihoods of around a half of the world’s population, but is at the same time a notable source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) driving climate change. As of one the options to tackle emissions in the sector, governments have been discussing to include additional agricultural activities into the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) since 2011. Whether agricultural activities should be eligible for carbon offsetting programmes is not only topical within discussions in the UNFCCC but also within certain regional cap-and-trade schemes and discussions to establish a market based mechanism for international aviation emissions, expected to be adopted in October 2016 under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Briefings
30 Nov 2015

Policy Brief: Fossil and biological carbon: a tonne is not a tonne

Whether biological carbon credit should be traded in carbon markets is topical, with discussions ongoing in the UNFCCC, ICAO and the California Cap-and-Trade system. To date, compliance markets have rejected the eligibility of biological carbon offsets. They are right to do so. Fossil and biological carbon operate on different parts of the carbon cycle, and on very different timescales. Fossil carbon is permanent; biological carbon is potentially and frequently subject to rapid fluxes, whether natural or manmade. For these reasons, offset credits from REDD+, afforestation and reforestation or other biological systems should not be treated as fungible with fossil carbon, but should instead be addressed through other, appropriate, policy measures.

Briefings
20 Nov 2015

Recommendations related to the role of carbon markets in the Paris Agreement

Only very few countries have outlined in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that they will use international trading as a means to help achieve their climate goals. However, despite the limited role of markets expressed by most industrialised countries in their INDCs, such as the EU and the US, the political reality regarding domestic carbon pricing schemes looks different: jurisdictions responsible for 40% of the global economy have already implemented carbon pricing mechanisms.

Briefings
27 Oct 2015

Policy Brief: Aviation’s Credibility on Environmental Integrity

ICAO is developing a Global Market Based Mechanism to achieve the goal of carbon neutral growth in the industry post-2020. Work is currently in progress to define which credits should be eligible to be used as offsets in this market.

Briefings
21 Apr 2015

Briefing: Aviation and Climate Change

Climate change is happening. Global average temperatures have already increased by 0.8ºC above preindustrial levels. Current trends imply a warming of 2.9-5.2ºC by the end of the century, which, even at the low end of the range, will cause great impacts on the planet and threaten many areas of human life, including health, food security, economic growth, societal change, and drinking water. 2015 is a key year for global efforts to combat climate change and keep warming under 2ºC, the warming limit agreed in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations.