IMO, ICAO and UNFCCC Hold Preparatory Meeting to COP15

© UNFCCC8 May 2009: Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and Kobeh González, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), met in London, UK, on 30 April 2009, for a preparatory meeting to the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UNFCCC, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.

The three leaders discussed potential hurdles in the process leading up to COP15. The Copenhagen Conference is scheduled to consider how emissions from international civil aviation and maritime transport should be regulated after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, based on information submitted by ICAO and IMO respectively, but primarily taking into account the views of UNFCCC parties.

Mitropoulos recommended that parties to the UNFCCC continue to entrust IMO with the development and enactment of a global regulatory regime to reduce or limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping. Kobeh emphasized that a globally-harmonized framework is essential for tackling GHG emissions from international aviation due to their global nature. He added that a Group on International Aviation and Climate Change was created and mandated by the Assembly of ICAO in 2007 to pursue this global framework through an ICAO Programme of Action on International Aviation and Climate Change. He indicated that the ICAO Council has scheduled a High-level Meeting on International Aviation and Climate Change in October 2009 to review the Programme of Action and the recommendations to COP15. De Boer underlined the potential contribution of the two sectors in achieving the long term objectives of the UNFCCC and stressed the need for the Copenhagen agreement to constitute a solid foundation for the work of the IMO and the ICAO to address emissions from bunker fuels. [IMO Press Release]