In 2010, world governments agreed to an ambitious set of climate targets for aviation through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations specialised agency. As part of this agreement, ICAO Member States were invited to submit ‘State Action Plans’.

State action plans assist governments, in partnership with the aviation industry, to identify the appropriate mitigation measures to reduce their local CO2 emissions derived from air transport activity. They are additionally useful with respect to determining any support which might be needed for States to implement such measures. In turn, the aggregated information contained in a given State’s action plan helps ICAO to assess its progress toward the global aspirational environmental goals agreed to at recent assemblies, and to help coordinate the assistance needed for them to do so.

Since the beginning of the ICAO action plan initiative, 79 States representing 83.12% of international traffic have developed and submitted their targets and 11 new States are expected to submit their action plans this year. The high level of participation seen has largely been due to a robust capacity building programme, and ICAO is continuing to drive further Action Plan progress with a target of 90% of international aviation emissions being covered by 2016.

Partnerships have been essential to the State Action Plan initiative, and ICAO is presently seeking to build upon the capacity building success which has been achieved to-date on the basis of three key agreements.

The first of these was developed with the European Commission, and aims to assist selected Member States in the African and the Caribbean regions, including three small island developing states (SIDS).

The second partnership, with the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme, has thus far led to a pilot renewable energy project to be implemented in Jamaica. A key objective here is to demonstrate the environmental and financial feasibility with respect to developing States and SIDS replicating the project.

Thirdly, the Inter-American Development Bank is funding several projects that are leading the development and deployment of alternative aviation fuels, and ICAO is currently exploring new projects with them.