Michael Gill, Executive Director of the cross-industry Air Transport Action Group noted that, whilst difficult negotiations remained on a couple of key areas: “this week’s high level meeting has demonstrated that ICAO is the right place for these discussions. Delegations have been showing impressive efforts to consolidate the negotiating text and come to an agreement. We are encouraged by all parties’ willingness to engage pragmatically in the negotiations.
“There are large parts of the new working text which the aviation industry can support and which will provide a solid basis for the world’s first global market mechanism. However, we are also eager to ensure that the scheme covers a high level of global air traffic and would encourage governments to have this in mind as the negotiations continue. The industry is ready to play its role and we further encourage governments to deliver a deal with concrete parameters that allows us to start implementation from 2020.”
The talks will continue in the ICAO Council before the ICAO Assembly convenes in September. The discussions are to agree on the mechanics of a global offsetting scheme for international aviation, due to come into force from 2020, with a phase-in to account for the special circumstances of some developing states. The offsetting scheme is intended to meet the goal of capping aviation’s CO2 emissions from 2020 and is part of a basket of measures including new technology and sustainable alternative fuels, enhanced operational performance and improved air traffic management methods.
The aviation industry has been a strong supporter of the process at ICAO, since it first proposed the measure in 2009. At the ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in September last year, 28 industry CEOs and Directors General, representing over 90% of the global aviation sector, sent governments an Open Letter encouraging a strong result at this year’s ICAO Assembly. On Tuesday this week, a Communique was issued from another ATAG event, encouraging progress at this weeks’ ICAO meeting.