EU Countries Coordinate Position for UN Aviation-Climate Meeting
27 February 2020 | Mitigation
This week, EU high-level government representatives will be aligning their negotiating position on the single most important program to tackle aviation’s climate impact. The governing Council of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, in a meeting that starts next week, is slated to adopt key decisions on its flagship Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, known as CORSIA. Environmental Defense Fund urges EU leaders to keep a united stance to make the carbon offsetting and emission reduction program work.
“As ICAO moves to decide which carbon credits airlines can use to comply with their international emissions limits, EU governments can use their collective diplomatic outreach to safeguard CORSIA’s integrity,” said Annie Petsonk, International Counsel for Environmental Defense Fund.“ EU States that are also ICAO Council members can press ICAO to deliver transparency, bar old dubious credits, and ensure each carbon credit is only counted once.”
While the EU requires flights within the EU to comply with its Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in 2017 it stopped the clock on that system’s coverage of flights between Europe and third countries, to give ICAO a chance to negotiate a high-integrity global measure. With the ICAO Council’s decision pending, the global accord’s credibility is on the line.
Earlier this month a letter co-signed by EDF and other leading NGOs warned the ICAO Council of a “substantial backlash” if it fails to deliver a robust program of high integrity to reduce climate pollution from airlines. For Europe, the task rests on the seven member States currently sitting on the ICAO Council – Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Greece, and the Netherlands.
“EU countries must show their commitment to stand up CORSIA with integrity. If CORSIA is peppered with bad quality, double-counted emissions units, its effectiveness will be fundamentally weakened. Our ability to tackle climate change will therefore have taken a backward step,” said Petsonk.