Friday 07 October 2016
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, T.D., today welcomed the landmark agreement reached between almost 200 countries at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal. The agreement seeks to curb CO2 emissions from international aviation and has been strongly supported by the aviation industry and by international representatives of airlines and airports.
GMBM (Global Market Based Measure) Scheme to combat CO2 emissions
The agreement, described as a Global Market Based Measure, is to start in 2021 and aims to move quickly towards a carbon-neutral growth situation in international aviation from then onwards. The scheme involves the offsetting of CO2 emissions from international aviation through the use of offsetting credits generated from environmentally beneficial projects. It is to be phased in over a six-year period from 2021. Ireland, along with 43 other European countries, has decided to participate from the start of the scheme.
This agreement, Minister Ross said, “is a truly historic event because it is a global agreement where countries from every part of the world have signed up to do their bit to combat climate change. Although aviation activity currently accounts for less than 5% of total CO2 emissions, every sector has to play its part, and this is especially true for the aviation sector where the level of activity is expected to grow significantly in the years ahead as aviation traffic increases in line with world economic growth”. World leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference - COP 21 - in Paris made very clear commitments to global action to combat climate change, in particular to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C, whilst pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to. 1.5°C. That meeting entrusted to ICAO the task of delivering an approach to tackling carbon emissions in aviation. ICAO has now responded to that challenge. As a result the aviation sector will be the first to adopt binding global carbon reduction targets.
Minister Ross added “This agreement is a key element of the response of the aviation community to the Paris Agreement. I am delighted to indicate that Ireland has taken a strong leadership role in this area. The agreement, which has been supported by all European Union States marks the culmination of years of work. A total of 65 countries, including Ireland, have committed to participation in the scheme from the initial voluntary phase commencing in 2021. It is not realistic to expect that every country can participate in the scheme from the start because of various developmental and technological reasons but Ireland and Europe are in that position and it is right that we back that up with a firm and decisive commitment to action to address the legitimate and vital objectives set out in the Paris Agreement last December.”
Ireland wins election to Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
Minister Ross also welcomed Ireland’s successful election to the ICAO Council, the 36-member governing body of ICAO. “This is a very important and influential body in the field of international aviation and it has a pivotal role in developing worldwide aviation policies and practises. It will in particular have a key role to play in the coming years in overseeing the detailed implementation and mechanics of the new CO2 scheme. Ireland greatly appreciates the honour of being elected to ICAO’s governing body and is determined to make its voice heard in a telling and constructive way.”