Aviation and shipping account for around 5 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. So it is surprising there is no global system to oversee or limit greenhouse gas emissions from these sectors. However, during 2016, that may change – leading to new environmental controls on airlines.
Since 2012, aircraft operators have been required to comply with the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Currently, this only covers carbon emissions from flights which take off and land within the European Economic Area. This derogation will expire in December 2016, the deadline by which the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has agreed to deliver a global framework to regulate aviation emissions. If no global framework is agreed, the EU ETS will be extended to apply to all flights which eitherland or take off in the EU.
In February 2016, the ICAO announced that it has agreed an international carbon dioxide standard, which will lead to greater aircraft fuel efficiency. However, the ICAO member states still need to agree on a “market-based mechanism” in time for the EU’s December 2016 deadline. The ICAO aims to have the talks completed by September 2016, in time for approval at the General Assembly meeting in October.
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