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Historic agreement reached to mitigate international aviation emissions

Government, industry and civil society representatives agreed on Thursday (6th October 2016) on a new global market-based measure (GMBM) to control CO2 emissions from international aviation.

The historic move came as the UN aviation agency The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) met in Montreal and agreed to recommend adoption of a final Resolution text for the GMBM.

The UK Government’s Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon spoke about the significant achievement: “For years, the UK has pushed to tackle aviation emissions globally. Now, 191 countries have agreed on a global measure and sent a clear message that aviation will play its part in combating climate change”.

ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is designed to complement the basket of mitigation measures the air transport community is already pursuing to reduce CO2 emissions from international aviation. These include technical and operational improvements and advances in the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation (ICAO).

From 2020, increases in CO2 from the industry will be offset through activities such planting trees or investing in alternative energy projects. Some commentators feel the deal is unambitious and fails to address any reduction in emissions from aviation.

Ultimately individual nations will be responsible for implementing their own mechanisms to tackle the emissions. The Knowledge Transfer Network is working with Sustainable Aviation and the Department for Transport to develop an initiative aimed at building a supply chain for sustainable aviation fuel production in the UK. The historic agreement in Montreal should now be the impetus for the UK to build on its R&D strength in aerospace and renewable energy technologies to ensure it is at the forefront of sustainable aviation fuel production.

 

Sources:

ICAO http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Historic-agreement-reached-to-mitigate-international-aviation-emissions.aspx

BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37573434

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