Flying blind: global climate talks are getting us nowhere

● By Prof. David Hodgkinson, University of Western Australia ● If global aviation was a country, its emissions would be ranked about seventh in the world, between Germany and South Korea on CO2 emissions alone. Yet despite flying being a growing global contributor to climate change, those emissions are still poorly accounted for and almost entirely unregulated. Aviation’s contribution to worldwide annual emissions could be as high as 8%. And the United Nations' special aviation body – the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – forecasts significant further emissions growth: against a 2006 baseline, an increase of 63% to 88% by 2020, and 290% to 667% by 2050 (without accounting for the impact of alternative fuels). So what are we doing about it globally? At ICAO’s triennial assembly last month, an agreement was reached to proceed with a roadmap towards a decision to be taken in 2016 for implementation in 2020. If everything goes to plan, then from 2020 we might see a global “market-based mechanism” (basically, an emissions trading scheme) covering global aviation. But that outcome is far from guaranteed. So in effect, those international delegates made an agreement to agree, and to keep talking at their next major meeting in three years – and nothing more. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it mirrors the slow, non-binding progress made in global climate talks generally, which have just wrapped up in Warsaw. Both developed and developing states agree to reach agreement in Paris in late 2015 on a treaty to commence in 2020. A resolution for inaction Aviation emissions have not been included in the UN’s international climate change regime, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. Instead, the UN leaves the aviation emissions problem up to ICAO. The idea is that developed countries like Australia will work on coming up with a global plan for aviation emissions under the ICAO umbrella ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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