Washington Report: ICAO Program Aims To Reduce Emissions

 - November 6, 2007, 3:12 AM

The International Civil Aviation Organization agreed at its fall meeting in Montreal to create a new group of senior government officials to recommend an aggressive ICAO program of action on international aviation and climate change.

The program will formulate an “implementation framework” consisting of strategies and measures that the member states of ICAO can use to achieve emissions reductions. It will identify fuel efficiency goals and means of measuring progress.

Options to be considered include voluntary measures, technological advances in aircraft and ground-based equipment, more efficient operational measures, improvements in air traffic management, economic incentives and market-based measures.

ICAO’s 36th Assembly agreed that market-based options are valuable tools for addressing aircraft emissions. However, a majority of the delegations believe that states should not apply emissions trading systems to the airlines of other states except by mutual agreement.

After receiving a program of action, ICAO will unveil it at a high-level meeting. Implementing the program will produce significant improvements in the environmental performance of international aviation, the organization said.

“The assembly recognized the tremendous work of ICAO over the past few years in mitigating the impact of aviation on the environment,” said Jeffrey Shane, undersecretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation and president of the ICAO assembly. “The level and importance of ICAO’s achievement over the years in aviation safety will now be replicated with regard to aviation’s impact on climate change.”