CALLS for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to wade into the row over the European Union’s controversial Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) have not fallen on deaf ears, it seems.
Only four weeks after Air Cargo News reported (11 October, 2012, issue 738) that a suggested alternative to ETS was to have airlines pay penalty sums for their carbon emissions to ICAO, the EU has suddenly slammed the brakes on its ill-fated initiative.
EU Climate Action commissioner Connie Hedegaard has announced the suspension of the inclusion of international aviation in the scheme, to instead allow the body to forge ahead unhindered with “creating a global solution for managing aviation’s carbon emissions”.
The u-turn announcement is a very welcome and pragmatic move – “and is also a strong signal that the commission is intent on working with international partners to achieve a global agreement on reducing aviation CO2 emissions,” declares Michael Steen, chairman of air cargo industry body TIACA.
His comments are quickly echoed by IATA’s director Tony Tyler, who states: “The flexibility shown by the EU demonstrates that the ICAO process is working, and we look forward to seeing all parties working together to present positive proposals to the ICAO Assembly in September 2013.”
The Kyoto Protocol treaty, which came into force on 16 February 2005, designated ICAO as the body with authority to set international aviation’s greenhouse gas policy.