The fact that international aviation was not covered by the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 (Dec 12) is a vote of confidence in the progress ICAO and the aviation community have made towards ambitious climate goals, according to ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu said the COP21 process and outcome represented a major accomplishment for the world and aviation, and 2016 would be "a very big year" for environmental issues at ICAO, with progress expected on the global market-based measure (MBM) and aircraft CO2 standard. The Paris Agreement will provide additional momentum to the MBM negotiations, said IATA Director General Tony Tyler. EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said the EU had fought hard to have the sector included in the Agreement and was concerned by the slow pace of the MBM development.
In response to the Paris outcome, ICAO said that rather than including international aviation in the Agreement, COP21 had invited ICAO to continue to report progress on its environmental programme to future sessions of the UNFCCC"™s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
"COP21 has been a great success for our planet and for civil society, but of course its process did not end with the concluding of its agreement," said Dr Aliu in an ICAO statement. "Every State and every global industrial sector must now redouble their efforts towards achieving substantial progress on emissions reduction if the COP21 legacy is to be achieved, and the civil aviation community is no exception."
The agreement would provide further momentum towards achieving an agreement on the MBM at ICAO"™s 39th Assembly later next year, he added. The Assembly will consider a recommendation for an MBM scheme addressing its main design elements and related implementation mechanisms from 2020. The MBM is a key aspect of the aviation community"™s global response to climate change, said ICAO.
The UN agency said COP21 had supported a Declaration from ICAO"™s 36-State Governing Council (see article), "which emphasised that it would continue to provide the necessary leadership, through ICAO, on all environmental issues relating to international civil aviation."
Dr Aliu and ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu both attended COP21, along with representatives from ICAO"™s Environmental Protection team, and undertook more than 20 bilateral meetings with heads of governments and international organisations…