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Airlines set out global targets for aviation emissions reductions

09/06/2009

Tuesday 9 June 2009 - BONN, Germany - Airlines belonging to the Aviation Global Deal (AGD) Group have returned to Bonn with the next version of their proposal for how international aviation emissions should be dealt with under a new global deal on climate change.

 

The Group’s updated proposal sets out a range of emission reduction scenarios and targets for UN negotiators to consider. The AGD Group believes that negotiators should set a target for the international aviation sector as part of a broader global climate agreement that would cover all international flights.

 

Hosting a side event at the UN Negotiating Sessions in Bonn today, the AGD Group will emphasise the importance of reaching a global deal in Copenhagen in December that fairly and equitably addresses aviation CO2 emissions. They will present three scenarios based on differing emissions reduction targets for the sector.

 

The AGD Group has considered a ‘carbon neutral growth’ target, a 5% reduction and a 20% reduction in emissions through to 2020, using a 2005 base-year and estimated future carbon prices. These targets were chosen to reflect the range of government, industry and NGO views regarding the role international aviation should play in helping to address global climate change. Under all scenarios, the airlines would be active participants in international carbon markets in order meet their emission targets most cost effectively.

 

Under the AGD proposal a proportion of the sector’s emission allowances would be auctioned to generate revenues for climate change initiatives in developing countries. Based on the scenarios assessed, auction revenues of up to USD$5 billion per annum could be generated to support activities such as climate adaptation programmes and initiatives to combat tropical deforestation, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. AGD members highlighted the critical role these auction revenues could play in delivering a fair and equitable deal in Copenhagen.

 

The AGD Group also presented, for consideration by UN negotiators, a draft text on international aviation for inclusion in the ‘Copenhagen Agreement’. In line with the Group’s proposal, the text suggests a range of possible emission targets and calls for a global sectoral agreement, developed through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and designed to ensure equal treatment of airlines and avoid carbon leakage.

 

Mark Kenber, Policy Director, The Climate Group, said, “The AGD approach reflects a business perspective on what is necessary to deliver a fair and equitable outcome for airlines, informed by an understanding of the political realities of the international climate change negotiations. The AGD proposal would ensure a robust environmental outcome, achieved at the lowest cost, while generating important financial flows for addressing climate change in developing countries. This is a solution that works for the environment, the aviation industry and critically the international climate negotiations".

 

Virgin Blue Airlines Group became the first Australasian airline to join the AGD Group last week.

 

The AGD Group will continue to engage with the industry and negotiators on its proposal in the months leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference in December.