Friday, October 07, 2016

EU welcomes landmark int'l agreement to curb aviation emissions

The European Commission, or the executive body of the European Union, said on Friday it welcomes a new multilateral deal reached by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to reduce international aviation emissions.

The agreement reached Thursday in Montreal by the ICAO Assembly, foresees the establishment of a Global Market-Based Measure (GMBM), which will oblige airlines to offset the growth of their CO2 emissions post-2020.

To do so, airlines will buy "emission units" generated by projects reducing CO2 emissions in other sectors of the economy (e.g. renewable energies). In its first phase (2021-2026), 65 parties will participate on a voluntary basis.

In its second phase (2027-2035) participation is mandatory, except for those exempted (those with small aviation activities).

The European Commission in a Friday statement noted that the EU and its member states played an instrumental role in brokering this deal, which constitutes the first-ever agreement to reduce CO2 emissions in a global sector.

Hailing the deal as "a historic milestone," European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, said, "I am happy to see that EU's commitment and perseverance to find a global solution bears fruit. We are mobilizing all our policies towards the competitive, circular and low-carbon economy, as promised in the Energy Union Strategy."

In its next steps, ICAO needs to develop all the remaining elements and implementation tools to allow the GMBM to become operational in 2021.

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