ICAO emissions group gathers

Washington DC
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Industry’s next steps in tackling emissions are on the agenda for the Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC), which is meeting today until 16 July.

Created by the ICAO General Assembly last year, the 15-member GIACC is tasked with making recommendations in 2009. 

Their meeting falls on the heels of the European Parliament’s decision to include aviation in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. All flights operating within, to or from its 27 nations will be subject to its emissions trading scheme from 2012.

“There is a clear challenge. We were disappointed that the EU continues to move down its unilateral course of emissions trading, especially on the eve of [the] GIACC meeting,” says FAA director of the office of environment and energy Carl Burleson.

Burleson is attending GIACC as an adviser. FAA deputy assistant administrator for aviation policy, planning and environment Nancy LoBue is the USA’s formal representative.

A performance-based approach focused on efficiency that fosters technology and innovation is the goal, Burleson says.

During the inaugural GIACC meeting in February it was stressed that there are a variety of circumstances to take into account when tackling emissions, Burleson says. “Countries have various levels of development and performance.”

A multi-path approach comprising operational measures, market-based measures, voluntary measures, improvements in air traffic management and technological advances was also discussed, according to minutes from the meeting.

GIACC will also meet from 16-18 February 2009 and 1-3 June 2009.

Under the EU scheme, a cap was set at 97% of 2004-06 average emissions levels for the first year, dropping to 95% from 2013. The agreement will also see 85% of emissions certificates allocated to airlines for free, with 15% to be auctioned from 2012.