ICAO Journal outlines Civil Aviation’s Current and Future Efforts to Reduce Emissions

Aviation & the Environment August 2008: The latest issue of the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Journal features, inter alia, an article by Jane Hupe, Secretary to the ICAO Council Committee on Aviation Environmental

Protection (CAEP), entitled “En Route to Copenhagen: International Aviation

Action on Climate Change,” in which she outlines the technical, economic, legal

and social implications of the various measures being considered to reduce

emissions from the aviation sector.

She emphasizes that studies identified an open and global

emissions trading system as the most efficient market option to address

aviation emissions and described ICAO's work in this field. Noting that ICAO

and UNFCCC are carrying out separate but parallel streams of activity that will

culminate at the end of 2009, she stresses the need for increased consultation

and cooperation between the two organizations. She provides an overview of

ongoing activities of the ICAO and of the Group on International Aviation and

Climate Change (GIACC), highlighting the invitation of the UNFCCC to the

GIACC's second meeting and the recent launch of the ICAO Carbon Calculator for

use in carbon-offsetting programmes.

Among future challenges, she identifies

the need to: enhance outreach activities; define how international aviation

will participate in the next climate change; and promote collaboration within

each member State. In another piece entitled “International Aviation and the

Global Environment: How ICAO has Made Climate Change a Priority Issue,” Celia

Alves Rodrigues and Blandine Ferrier, ICAO Environment Unit, outline current

and future ICAO activities aimed at helping the aviation community to address

the climate change issue.

Finally, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary,

offers a message stressing the need for an agreement on stronger international

climate change action in Copenhagen that matches the clear signal given by the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report, namely

stopping the rise in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 to 15 years and

cutting back global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050.

Noting that

aviation is not covered by the Kyoto Protocol regime, he identifies setting up

a carbon market for aviation as the most cost-effective option for the sector

to cut back its emissions. He describes the success of the carbon market and

the Protocol's three market-based mechanisms and urges linking the ICAO and the

UNFCCC discussions. [The Journal]