Global deal struck on airline emissions
By Marc Braibant AFPMONTREAL -- A first-ever global deal on curbing the airline industry's rising carbon emissions was agreed to on Friday, the International Civil Aviation Organization said, though hammering out the details could take years.
October 6, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The full agreement is not scheduled to take effect until 2020 but the most contentious issues have been resolved, officials said, as the ICAO's full assembly met behind closed doors in Montreal.
The deal “is an historic milestone for air transport and for the role of multilateralism in addressing global climate challenges,” ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez said in a statement.
Air transport “now becomes the only major industry sector to have a multilateral global market-based mechanism agreement in place to help govern future greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.
Leading up to the vote, China and India had joined the United States and Russia in balking at a European Union push for a carbon levy on flights within three years.
But at midday (1600 GMT), after some 1,400 delegates representing 170 member states voted on the executive committee's resolution, officials said the plan had been passed and details of the accord would follow.
“The good news is (in) having concluded a general agreement that includes China and India,” a diplomat involved in the negotiations told AFP.
Aviation accounts for around three percent of global CO2 emissions but the ICAO forecasts that by 2050 emissions will have risen between four and six times the levels they were in 2010.
Last year, the EU suspended its CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for intercontinental flights, after facing a storm of criticism.
Under the EU's ill-fated arrangement, airlines flying in EU airspace were required to buy pollution credits to cover 15 percent of their CO2 emissions for the entire flight, wherever it originated.