GREENAIR NEWSLETTER 5 MAY 2015
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ICAO completes international dialogues with States on a market measure to address aviation CO2 emissions
Fri 1 May 2015 – A series of ICAO climate change seminars organised by ICAO during April in its five world regions was completed this week in Madrid. The aim of the Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) was to inform ICAO Member States on mitigation measures being undertaken to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation but in particular to explain and discuss with States a proposed market-based measure to cap the sector’s net emissions from 2020. Although no formal decision has been made, a carbon offsetting scheme is emerging as the preferred option by those States currently engaged in the development process at ICAO, and delegates to the GLADs, which also included representatives from industry and civil society, were encouraged to offer ideas and recommendations on the scheme. ICAO estimates that to achieve the carbon-neutral growth goal, the airline sector could be required to spend around $2.8 billion annually on carbon offsets by 2025, rising to $11.9 billion by 2035.
Aviation is responsible for around 2% of global man-made CO2 emissions and ICAO is mandated to address only the international element of those emissions, around 65% of the total. According to ICAO figures, CO2 emissions from international flights amounted to 448 million tonnes in 2010 as a result of fuel consumption of 142 million tonnes. By 2040, the UN specialised agency forecasts fuel consumption will increase 2.8 to 3.9 times this amount, with traffic (measured in RTKs) rising around 4.2 times. The international aviation sector’s CO2 emissions are therefore “sizable and growing”, it warns, and is addressing the problem through a three-pillar approach: quantification, identification of mitigation measures and implementation via State Action Plans, assistance to States and, finally, global action to implement reduction measures.
ICAO States have agreed a fuel efficiency improvement target for the sector of 2% per year but worldwide air traffic is growing nearer to 5% and in order to bridge the ‘emissions gap’ and achieve the carbon-neutral growth goal – so far aspirational at ICAO – a global market-based measure (GMBM) is required alongside a basket of other technology-based and operational measures, including the use of sustainable alternative fuels. ICAO estimates the total efficiency improvement derived from the future introduction of new aircraft technology is likely to range from just 0.57% to 1.5% on an annualised basis. In other words, an aircraft purchased in 2035 is forecasted to be between 13% and 31% more efficient than a new aircraft in 2010.
ICAO projections show that in 2020 around 3% of total international aviation fuel will come from sustainable alternative sources but the agency says there is still high uncertainty over a longer term level of production. An alternative fuels task force established by ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) is further assessing future production and life-cycle benefits. Another consideration by CAEP is to what extent provision should be made in the GMBM when accounting emissions from flights using alternative fuels
Other forms of MBMs, such as levies and emissions trading, have been looked at but largely discounted and carbon offsetting is considered a more simple, practical, less expensive and quicker to implement option. Offsetting compensates the emissions from one sector, in this case aviation, through reductions elsewhere, such as power generation or agriculture. To safeguard a scheme’s integrity, emissions reductions have to be ensured by robust verification and certification of the airline emissions to be included and the emissions units purchased.
Following the resolution (A38-18) adopted at ICAO’s last Assembly in late 2013, the ICAO Council established the Environment Advisory Group (EAG), comprising representatives from 17 Council members and IATA, to oversee the development of a GMBM. Technical support is being provided by the Secretariat and another CAEP task force, the GMTF, with sub-groups working on emission unit eligibility; monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements; and the assessment of MBM impacts. A GMBM framework is expected to be completed and agreed by the Council by mid-2016 for a decision by the 39th Assembly in the autumn.
To facilitate the development of the GMBM, the ICAO Secretariat produced for the EAG last year an outline proposal and key elements of a possible basis for a scheme that has since been further refined, called the Strawman. These incorporate, for example, adjustments to take into account fast-growing aircraft operators, new entrants and those ‘early mover’ operators whose individual fuel efficiency is already well above the industry average.
ICAO is currently placing increased priority on the assistance and capacity-building needed to help States meet its global standards, under the slogan “No country left behind”. In line with this objective, the GLADs were an opportunity for ICAO to inform its Member States on the principles behind an MBM and to exchange information and ideas for consideration at the mid-point in the ICAO three-year cycle. ICAO Secretariat members who had attended all five GLADs reported there had been a variable understanding of the issue but a high degree of commonality had emerged in what States wanted to see in the design of the GMBM.
Half of the two-day GLADs was devoted to ‘Dialogue’ sessions in which delegates were divided into small discussion groups that addressed questions concerning the most important considerations for an international aviation GMBM. Delegates from States, industry and NGOs were encouraged to express views and ideas, and the results were fed back into plenary sessions.
At the Europe and North Atlantic GLAD attended by GreenAir, there was a high degree of unanimity on a number of key issues:
- An MBM should be easy to understand, simple to administer and cost-effective;
- It must have environmental integrity and MRV robustness;
- Avoid competitive distortions and be non-discriminatory;
- It should not hamper the growth of aviation;
- It should drive emissions reductions not revenue generation, and avoid double-counting of emissions;
- Provide accessibility to a wide range of verifiable carbon units;
- The GMBM development process should be more transparent with open communication and feedback to all States and stakeholders;
- Technical assistance provided to States where needed along with capacity building;
- A strong legal structure underpinning the implementation of the GMBM; and
- A requirement for a better understanding of CBDR/SCRC principles and consideration of a route-based solution.
The feedback will be discussed at the next EAG meeting this month before being presented for deliberation by the ICAO Council in June. A second round of GLADs is expected to take place during March or April next year, which will be followed by a special High-level Meeting on the issue. ICAO will be presenting progress on its climate change activities at the UNFCCC COP21 summit in Paris later this year. The agency is also holding a two-day seminar in September on aviation emissions reductions, called E-GAP, which will include a session on carbon markets.
Analysis carried out by CAEP, and using IEA forecasts on carbon prices, shows the cost of offsets to the industry is likely to range between $1.9 billion and $6.2 billion in 2025 (mid-range $2.8bn) based on a carbon price assumption of between $6 and $20. This would rise to between $7.2 billion and $23.9 billion by 2035 (mid-range $11.9bn), based on a carbon price ranging from $12 to $40. At a mid-range carbon price, these costs would represent 0.3% of estimated total annual air transport revenue in 2025, rising to 0.9% of revenue in 2035. (See tables below)
By the time of the final GLAD in Madrid, over 350 participants from around 100 States had attended the five ICAO events. “We have been very encouraged by the level of turnout and it has been an extremely rewarding exercise,” Jane Hupe, Deputy Director, Environment, Air Transport Bureau, told GreenAir. “There has been a lot of commonality across the five GLADs in answers to the questions we asked in the dialogue sessions.”
She said before the GLADs, a number of developing States had been unclear about the purpose of an MBM and some had misconceptions. However, she added, States now recognised how MBMs fitted into the “big picture” as part of a basket of measures to achieve emissions reductions and the use of UNFCCC CDM carbon credits to help projects in the developing world had been an important consideration for many States.
“It’s not that everyone desperately wants an MBM but there is an understanding that this is a measure that will help international aviation fill the emissions gap and reach the ICAO environmental goals. In turn, we now have a good understanding of what our Member States want from an MBM and consideration will now be given as to how ICAO can accommodate their requests.”
Presentations from the GLADs, the questions posed at the Dialogue sessions and relevant documentation can be downloaded from the ICAO GLADs website.
ICAO CAEP estimates of cost of purchasing offsets to achieve carbon-neutral growth goal:
ICAO CAEP estimates of cost of purchasing offsets relative to industry revenue:
Aviation industry and NGOs press case to ICAO States on the need for a market measure to meet emissions targets
Fri 1 May 2015 – The series of Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs) held by ICAO in its five world regions during the past month had the aim of consulting with Member States over the design of a global market-based measure (GMBM) to address CO2 emissions from international aviation. However, there was a strong representation from the aviation industry and environmental groups at the events, both sides pressing the case for the introduction of a global scheme to mitigate the growing climate impact of the sector. “This is a crucially important issue for the industry and an MBM is an integral part of our overall strategy,” IATA Senior Vice President Paul Steele told delegates to the Madrid GLAD. Despite a general lack of understanding over MBMs, he said, the GLADs had been a very constructive and positive process, with a lot of progress made.
Steele said the industry wanted regulation through a GMBM for two reasons. “Firstly, it will help us reach the climate goals we have set, which are closely aligned with those of ICAO, and as an industry that works to global standards, we also need one global measure instead of a patchwork of initiatives by States that in the end do not serve the environment or the aviation sector.”
He said the GLADs process had brought home the need for better communication on the issue, both by industry and ICAO. “We would be very happy to support ICAO in getting information out there.”
Now the GLADs were over, it was time to narrow down the options on the GMBM, he said, adding: “We in industry don’t have all the answers but we are concerned with how this process develops and we want a sensible outcome and work with governments to promote the sustainable growth of aviation in the future.”
Tim Johnson of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), an umbrella group of environmental NGOs attached to ICAO, said there was an alignment with industry on the objective of the need to reduce emissions. “Without an MBM, it will be very difficult to meet the targets set at ICAO,” he said, adding that such a measure must have environmental integrity, otherwise it would lose credibility with an outside audience concerned with the wider climate change issue. It was necessary, he said, for a careful balance to be struck between keeping an MBM simple and cost-effective to operate with one that was hard to implement and lacked support.
He too said there was need for better communication over the GMBM process. “We see it as our role as NGOs, together with industry, to talk to States about the issues and why the MBM is so important, and how it can meet the objectives as we move towards a decision in 2016,” he said.
In an earlier presentation, Michael Gill, Director of the industry’s Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), said a global measure ought to be guided by four principles and should:
- Not be used to raise general revenue or suppress demand for air travel;
- Maximise environmental integrity and be cost-effective;
- Minimise competitive distortion; and
- Be easy to implement and administer.
The industry’s preference was for a mandatory carbon offsetting MBM, he told delegates, as it would be the fastest to implement, easiest to administer and the most cost-efficient, adding that there was already considerable airline experience through voluntary passenger offsetting schemes.
Gill reiterated the industry’s commitment to the GMBM process and its confidence in a successful outcome. Significant progress had been made in the various groups set up in ICAO to deal with the issue, he said. “We have been very impressed with the level of discussion and engagement with States,” he said. “We have seen this again during the past three-week period through the course of the GLADs.”
Speaking to GreenAir after the Madrid event, he said the format of including roundtable discussion groups that gave an opportunity for delegates to exchange ideas and information on an informal basis had been a major contributory factor in the success of the GLADs. “ICAO is to be congratulated on this – I certainly haven’t seen this in an ICAO context before,” he said. “A lot of the positive messages that have come out of all five meetings have been as a result of the format chosen by the Secretariat.”
GreenAir GLADs article , ICAO – GLADs
JetBlue turns in impressive fuel efficiency gains but emissions continue to grow as a result of traffic growth
Fri 24 Apr 2015 – As a result of continued growth in traffic operations, JetBlue’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 5.5% in 2014 over the previous year, although it recorded its best-ever fuel efficiency performance. Measured in terms of GHG emissions per 1,000 revenue ton miles, the airline managed a reduction from 1.65 tonnes of CO2e to 1.54 tonnes, a 6% improvement. According to its annual responsibility report, ‘The Blue Review’, just published, emissions rose from 5.9 million tonnes in 2013 to just over 6.2 million tonnes last year. However, against an industry target to improve average annual fuel efficiency by 1.5% from 2009 to 2020, JetBlue is currently averaging 2.2%. In addition to initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint from operations, the airline is engaged in programmes to improve onboard recycling and water conservation, and since 2008 has run an annual environment campaign called ‘One Thing That’s Green’ (see article).
In efforts to reduce the growth in emissions, JetBlue is investing in new aircraft and retrofitting its older models, with the aim of making its fleet one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the industry, it says. The airline currently operates 203 Airbus and Embraer narrow-body aircraft, with an average age of 7.2 years. It has 25 new engine option (NEO) A320 aircraft on order that are expected to begin arriving in 2020 and 45 A321NEOs due to join the fleet starting in 2018. This year, it plans to start retrofitting its entire A320 fleet with Sharklet wingtip extensions that should boost fuel efficiency by around 3% on long-haul flights.
To help meet its efficiency goals, the airline started an initiative last year called ‘Fuel is Everyone’s Business’, with staff implementing trials and procedures that have so far saved $2.5 million in fuel costs. One example is to reduce engine idling time, which can reduce fuel consumption by millions of pounds annually, it says. The airline also hosted a conference on fuel savings in 2014, in which pilots and flight dispatchers were brought together to discuss strategies to improve conservation. Presentations included opportunities to alter routing, descent times and fuel variation to reduce fuel usage.
JetBlue has also undertaken a trial to reduce the amount of potable water carried on flights by 25%. As a result, an estimated annual saving of 2.4 million gallons of water and 288,000 gallons of fuel was realised across the A320 fleet, and has now become best practice since last December.
What began as a grassroots effort by staff at Long Beach Airport in California a decade ago, onboard recycling is now a major undertaking by the airline. This has involved enhancing recycling capacity and bringing in new recycling infrastructure where needed across 50 of the airline’s domestic airports it serves, and now progress is being measured. During the first half of 2014, data was gathered from more than 10,000 domestic flights that showed a recycling adoption success rate of around 84%. At New York JFK alone, JetBlue recycled 1.2 million pounds (540 tonnes) of cardboard, plastic and aluminium that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.
As well as operating a customer carbon offset programme, JetBlue offsets the carbon emissions of staff business travel, which in 2014 amounted to around 44,800 tonnes of CO2. Since the programme started in 2008, more than 158,000 tonnes have been offset.
JetBlue says this year’s report is organised around the airline’s five core responsibility values: safety, caring, integrity, passion and fun. “JetBlue values are fundamental to who we are and how we operate,” commented CEO Robin Hayes. “It is only fitting that our approach to responsibility is based on these standards. Our mission is to inspire humanity in the air and on the ground. This only works if both crewmembers and customers believe in this mission. The Blue Review showcases our commitment to our crewmembers and the customers and communities that support us. Our core values help guide how we meet our corporate responsibility.”
JetBlue – The Blue Review
Air Transat, Germanwings and Cargolux look to improve their fuel efficiency programmes with Aviaso software
Fri 24 Apr 2015 – Leading Canadian leisure carrier Air Transat has become the first North American customer of Swiss fuel efficiency software provider Aviaso. The airline has had a fuel management programme in operation since 2003 and is ranked by German climate NGO atmosfair in its annual Airline Index as one of the most fuel efficient in the industry. However, Air Transat says implementing the Aviaso system will give it the means to improve operational practices and further refine its programme, with a goal to reduce fuel burn by another one per cent. In January, Aviaso signed agreements with two other airlines for its software – low-cost carrier Germanwings and cargo operator Cargolux – bringing its number of customers to over 17 airlines.
“We were looking for an easy-to-implement and cost-effective solution that would smoothly integrate with our existing IT systems,” said Keith Lawless, Senior Director, Business Sustainability and Improvement, Air Transat. “Another important criteria in selecting Aviaso was that the software was already in productive use at several airlines and has demonstrated positive measurable results for those airlines.”
The implementation of the software is already underway and is expected to be completed within the next two months, reported Aviaso.
For Europe’s biggest all-cargo airline, fuel comprises around half of all costs for Cargolux and so is making considerable efforts to reduce consumption, including operating a modern freighter fleet of long-range wide-body 747-8F and 747-400F aircraft. In addition, it has implemented a number of fuel saving procedures, including the introduction of an Electronic Flight Bag solution to reduce weight. Aviaso said implementation of its software will introduce continuous monitoring and verification of its fuel conservation programme and further refine fuel-saving processes.
“Traditionally, Cargolux puts a lot of value on fuel saving,” said Marcel Funk, Senior VP Flight Operations at Cargolux. “In the past decade, we have implemented and refined various fuel saving procedures and we have taken our fuel conservation programme to a very good level. However, currently we are lacking the verification and monitoring capability to provide transparency on the results of the fuel saving processes and procedures. We expect the Aviaso software to provide us with the transparency needed. Furthermore, the tool will allow us to identify and quantify further savings potential.”
According to Matthias Spohr, Fuel Manager and Head of Fleet at Germanwings, a lot of documentation on fuel conservation is already available and his airline had introduced most of the recommended initiatives. “However, we were faced with the challenge to really understand how we are using our fuel,” he said. “To get the transparency and to be able to identify and quantify fuel savings, we started to evaluate several fuel efficiency software solutions before selecting Aviaso.”
The Aviaso software includes more than 100 ready-made analysis reports which, says the Zurich-based company, allow an airline to thoroughly understand its fuel consumption, identify potential fuel savings and rigorously monitor the various fuel-saving initiatives for each and every flight.
Rudolf Christen said airlines may have a good understanding of fuel efficiency and can be at a high level regarding their fuel management processes. “However, experience clearly shows that old patterns tend to return and savings disappear if a fuel conservation programme is not continuously monitored and verified,” he warned.
LAX’s new ocean wave international terminal is awarded LEED Gold sustainability status
Thu 23 Apr 2015 – The new 1.25-million-square-foot Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has become the largest terminal in the United States to achieve LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council. The design by Fentress Architects features a dramatic arching roofline inspired by ocean waves, which helps reduce solar glare and heat while providing additional lighting. The ceiling is supported by a skeletal framework of structural ribs meant to resemble the inside of a whale. The 15-gate concourse features natural daylight and low-E glass, which minimises heat gain, while different lighting controls reduce energy use. With LAX the second-busiest airport in the nation, the terminal has been designed to provide for future expansion and, says Fentress, is not only sustainable, it is America’s most technologically advanced airport so far.
During construction of the building, sustainability building techniques were used and recycled and regionally-sourced materials were used. Under LAX’s existing recycling programme, 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfills by designating salvage, re-use and recycle components.
The $1.5 billion budgeted public works project, which includes the demolition of the existing North and South Concourses, is one of the biggest in the city’s history, says the airport. The first phase of the new terminal was finished in 2013, which included the Great Hall and the westside boarding gates. The second phase is due to be completed this year will feature new eastside gates, a renovated immigration and passport control area and additional ticketing and check-in facilities.
The original terminal was completed in 1984, in time for the Summer Olympics that year, and is named after the city’s first African-American, as well as the longest serving, mayor of Los Angeles.
Other US airports with terminals constructed to LEED Gold standard include San Francisco, Indianapolis, Portland and Santa Barbara. Last year, San Diego’s Terminal 2 West became the first to achieve Platinum status.
Los Angeles International Airport – New Tom Bradley International Terminal , Fentress Architects , US Green Building Council – LEED
FedEx Fuel Sense initiatives continue to help cut jet fuel use and reduce aircraft emissions intensity
Wed 22 Apr 2015 – FedEx has revealed it saved 100 million gallons of jet fuel from its FedEx Express airline operations in 2014 against a 2005 baseline, avoiding over 976,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. It attributes the achievement to the company’s Fuel Sense programme as well as aircraft fleet modernisation, with more than 330 million gallons of jet fuel saved through 46 initiatives introduced since 2007. Details of seven new Fuel Sense programmes launched in 2014 are outlined in its latest annual Global Citizenship Report (GCR). FedEx has a goal of reducing aircraft emissions intensity by 30 per cent by 2020 from the baseline and has so far achieved a 21.4 per cent cut. At its World Hub in Memphis, FedEx has just added 15 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell powered GSE cargo tractors, funded by a $2.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy.
Absolute jet fuel use by the FedEx fleet of over 650 aircraft in 2014 dropped by 34.4 million gallons compared to the previous year, representing a reduction in aircraft emissions intensity of 1.5%. Emissions from jet fuel burned by FedEx aircraft in 2014 amounted to 10.5 million tonnes, compared with 10.8 Mt in 2013 and 11.1 Mt in 2012.
The Fuel Sense team has now saved 334 million gallons of jet fuel since 2007, it estimates, avoiding 3.25 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
Two Fuel Sense initiatives undertaken over the past year involve reducing the weight carried on aircraft. For three years, FedEx has been designing and testing more than 100 new types of lighter weight containers and after 21,000 flights, it says it has narrowed the field down to three models. Once all 23,000 of its older containers have been replaced, the company estimates the overall weight will be 1.25 million pounds (nearly 570 tonnes) lighter, saving around 2.4 million gallons of fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 22,729 tonnes.
The second initiative involves replacing paper manuals and charts carried by pilots with electronic versions. This has removed 32 tons of paper from planes and in the process saved around 370,000 gallons of jet fuel and 3,572 tonnes of CO2.
FedEx is also working with the FAA on a number of other initiatives to conserve fuel, including reducing distances between flight tracks at take-off, updating wake turbulence separation standards and enhancing optimum profile descents.
“We believe that we can decrease our environmental footprint while simultaneously expanding our business – and the data backs that up,” said Mitch Jackson, VP Environmental Affairs and Sustainability. “This year, we continued to reduce our emissions even as our revenue and the number of items we deliver has gone up.”
Another FedEx goal is to obtain 30% of its jet fuel from sustainable alternative fuels by 2030 and it reports active engagement with bodies such as CAAFI, ASTM, The Nature Conservancy and the US Departments of Energy and Agriculture.
“Developing a sustainable jet fuel product that can be produced at scale and transported to where it’s needed at a competitive price is a challenge that can only be solved by working together with our industry peers, academia, governmental agencies and companies in the alternative fuel supply chain, including refineries and distributors,” says the report.
On April 9, in a collaboration with ground support equipment (GSE) supplier Charlatte and Plug Power, FedEx rolled out what it claims is the world’s first zero emissions, hydrogen fuel cell GSE tractor. Producing only water and heat as by-products, the 15 tractors join a fleet of more than 1,500 others at the World Hub that move over two million shipments daily. The units are fuelled by hydrogen dispensed directly into the fuel cell systems by the driver from a 15,000 gallon liquid hydrogen refuelling infrastructure located on the airport ramp.
“While these hydrogen fuel cell powered cargo tractors may not look big, they are capable of pulling 40,000 pounds of cargo on airport dollies in even the harshest weather conditions, and they embody our strong commitments to innovation and to reducing our environmental footprint,” said John Dunavant, Vice President of the Hub.
FedEx Global Citizenship Report