Global airlines body International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed confidence that a consensus will be reached on limiting the carbon emissions in the aviation sector during the forthcoming ICAO Assembly.
Global Market Based Measures (GMBMs), a potential means for limiting or reducing carbon emissions, have been under consideration of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for many years.
At the 38th Session of ICAO Assembly in September 2013, a decision was taken to develop a GMBM scheme to limit CO2 emissions in the aviation sector.
“In the recent past, governments have shown willingness to come to an agreement in the climate space area. In December last year, we had the Paris agreement on UNFCCC and in February at ICAO, governments agreed on a CO2 certification standard for new aircraft.
“So we are confident that the governments will again show that willingness at the forthcoming ICAO Assembly in September to reach a consensus and an agreement (on the issue),” Director for aviation environment resolution at IATA Michael Gill said.
Gill, however, said the exercise was a political process and in any such processes there is no guarantee of a final outcome until an agreement has been signed.
“But we do see real engagement from the governments in this process,” he said.
The proposed GMBMs are to be implemented in the form of an offsetting scheme which require participants to offset their CO2 emissions above an agreed level by carbon emission trading.
Aviation industry has adopted a four-pronged strategy– improved technology, more efficient aircraft operations, infrastructure improvements and a properly designed market- based measures (MBM)–to fill any remaining emissions gap.
“Offsetting scheme is the fourth pillar of strategy, it’s an economic measure to allow us to achieve this carbon-neutral growth target of 2020 where the other three pillars have not quite got us to that target,” he said.
According to aviation experts, the mechanism, when it comes into force, will lead to an imposition of tax on flights which airlines might recover from passengers in the form of additional charges.
UN aviation watchdog, ICAO is scheduled to discuss the proposal at its 39th Assembly session to be held in September- October this year.
“One of the key aspects of the negotiations of ICAO is to ensure genuine reductions in CO2 emissions across the world and the rules will provide very clear guidance on the types of projects which will be approved and the criteria for which the units will be eligible,” he added.