The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN body responsible for aviation, has today agreed to implement a global market-based measure to limit emissions from aviation. Commenting on the deal, Green climate spokesperson Bas Eickhout, who attended the final deliberations in Montreal, said:
"Today, ICAO has agreed a deal that does not reach their target to limit net carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation to 2020 levels. Big economies India and Russia are not part of the final agreement.
"It is a meagre deal. We need to do much more than offsetting the growth in emissions: they have to be reduced. But with participation due to be voluntary until 2027, the carbon neutral objective will not even be achieved. The lack of sufficient safeguards for the eligible offsets casts doubt on the environmental integrity of the scheme. All countries should take part from the beginning and in order to do so developed countries should be going much further than today’s agreement. At the pace set today, we stand little chance of avoiding dangerous levels of climate change.
"At the same time we have to accept that achieving a more ambitious deal was simply not feasible without excluding more countries. Today’s deal is a step in the right direction. However, it must be absolutely clear that this is merely a floor from which we will need to make further progress. It is essential that regions such as the EU go beyond what has been agreed upon. Crucially, this means that all international flights from and to the EU should fall under our emission trading system from 2017 onwards as planned.
"It was good to see at ICAO that the world is changing. Three years ago, when the EU proposed an international emission trading scheme, we were completely isolated. In the last two weeks, we have seen a different picture. African and South American countries in particular have shown willingness to negotiate and be ambitious: that promises a better future. EU negotiators were too traumatized by the past but they have to recognise that times have changed. Let this be a lesson for next time."