Two prominent business and general aviation industry trade bodies have welcomed the ICAO Assembly’s framework for reducing aviation emissions and its rejection of Europe’s proposed emissions trading scheme.

The ETS would hit the sector particularly hard as airlines would receive exemptions for a proportion of their operations, but business aviation operators would receive none.

The ICAO framework starts with the proposal that the best method of reducing aviation emissions is to accelerate technology development, infrastructure modernisation and the adoption of more efficient operational procedures. The organisation says it accepts that market-based measures (MBMs) will have a part to play in providing incentives for improvement, but adds that these measures should be globally agreed and applicable, rather than a patchwork of local systems.

“The business aviation community understands that environmental stewardship is an imperative, and we have a decades-long record of impressive and continuing emissions reductions," says National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) president and chief executive Ed Bolen. "This success has been the result of industry investment, commitment and innovation — not an EU ETS style approach to emissions.”

He adds: “The emissions policy framework adopted at ICAO this week takes the debate on emissions in a more reasonable direction than the EU ETS.”

Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), agrees. "The ICAO resolution highlights the fact that MBMs are only one among a number of tools that are required to reduce aviation emissions," he says. "Technological improvements, including alternative fuels, operational efficiencies and infrastructure improvements, are also vital to make real inroads into reducing aviation’s emissions. Industry has delivering more efficient aircraft for years."